PHOTOS: Dead and Injured Elephants Cover a Spanish Highway After Circus Truck Crashes

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

One elephant is dead and two others injured after a truck hauling the animals crashed on a highway in Spain. Shocking photos and video footage show the elephants—who are reportedly used in circuses—loose on the highway:

And here, one of the injured elephants appears bloodied and battered:

Stunned drivers and pedestrians gaped as elephants roamed the street. The dead elephant was reportedly removed from a ditch, where her body had landed following the crash. According to reports, the elephants belong to Circo Gottani, a Spanish circus company. Folks have already begun calling out the circus and other cruel captive-elephant industries:

This crash is just the latest reason to demand the end of elephant use and abuse in circuses: Circus trains have crashed; animals have been trapped inside overturned trailers; elephants have been used as living car jacks, chained by all four legs, and beaten with bullhooks, causing their feet to rot and their brains to fry; tigers have been left without water while their handlers slept nearby; and one tiger last summer was shot after she escaped at a truck stop.

Animals in circuses are caged and chained for the majority of their lives and forced to perform tricks under threat of punishment, which is why PETA asserts that the only way to ensure their safety is to end their use in circuses altogether. We’re also calling for an examination by police of the driver’s record and a public disclosure of veterinary care for the surviving elephants.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind