Undercover footage released by London-based Animal Defenders International shows an elephant handler with the “Super Circus” as he viciously kicks and beats a chained 58-year-old elephant named Annie with a pitchfork and a club. At one point, it appears that the elephant, who was taken from the wild as a child for a lifetime of servitude in the circus, is stabbed in the face with the tines of a pitchfork. Annie, who suffers from arthritis like most elephants in captivity, is the last elephant still used in a circus in Britain. The undercover footage also shows ponies and horses who jump backwards as they are kicked and slapped as well as a worker who spits in a camel’s face.
Four years ago, PETA offered to pay to send Super Circus’ owner, Bobby Roberts, to visit The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. We hoped that once he saw the paradise that awaited Annie, he would relent and retire her to sanctuary. The heartless exploiter never responded.
PETA U.K. has contacted the RSPCA asking that Annie be confiscated from the circus, and the group is appealing to the British government to pass a pending bill that would ban the use of wild animals in U.K. circuses.