An eyewitness has come forward to report appalling cruelty to an elephant at the notorious Kelly Miller Circus. The observer, who was on circus premises on August 8, reports that she and her son saw a handler—part of a Carson & Barnes Circus unit traveling with Kelly Miller—use a “stick” that had a sharp hook on the end (i.e., a bullhook) to beat an elephant who was carrying four children on her back. The elephant was reportedly hit so hard that she “screamed,” with each strike producing an audible “whack” sound. The witness swore out an affidavit describing the beating, and PETA has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate.
This is just the latest in a series of recent reports by concerned citizens of abuse and neglect by exhibitors with the Kelly Miller Circus. Other eyewitness accounts described physical abuse and tight, unsafe tethering of animals. While we hope that the USDA will act to protect these animals from further abuse, it’s vital to remember that all animals used by circuses are suffering – please never attend any circus that uses animals, and choose animal-friendly entertainment instead.