Floor of Truck Hauling Elephants to Carson & Barnes Act Caves on Highway

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Carson & Barnes Circus has made headlines yet again for its total disregard for animals’ well-being after a vehicle carrying elephants owned by the notorious company broke down on a highway near Eufaula, Oklahoma.

According to a report, a truck was hauling four elephants to an event in Iowa when its flooring separated from the rest of the vehicle, causing sparks and a grass fire. Traffic was blocked until a local veterinary office arranged for the animals to be taken away in a cattle trailer.

Additional commentary on the incident:

PETA urges everyone to avoid all circuses and exhibitions that put exotic animals on display—and on the road.

As if beating elephants into performing tricks and forcing them to give rides weren’t enough, circuses and other animal exhibitors chain them inside cramped trailers to haul them across the country, putting their lives at risk. For days, they’re forced to sleep, eat, and defecate in the same place.

This breakdown in Oklahoma follows crashed circus trains, animals trapped inside overturned trailers, elephants used as living car jacks, tigers left without water, and a tiger shot after escaping at a truck stop.

This isn’t the first time that Carson & Barnes has endangered both elephants and the public.

Last summer, Kelly—an elephant from Carson & Barnes who was forced to perform at Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin—escaped from her confines and was found wandering through a nearby residential neighborhood.

In 2016, the circus was ordered to pay a $16,000 fine to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after it allowed three elephants to run amok for 45 minutes at a performance. The animals reportedly became stressed after circus performers asked the approximately 8,000 audience members to create loud noises by, among other things, stomping on the metal bleachers.

Carson & Barnes has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including for failing to provide animals with basic necessities, such as adequate veterinary care, minimum space, shelter from the elements, and clean water.

What You Can Do

In line with evolving public sentiment, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down, while animal-free circuses are thriving. With your help, it won’t be long before all animal acts are a thing of the past.

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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