Max Is the FOURTH Elephant to Die in This Shoddy Roadside Zoo in 2018

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Yet another elephant imprisoned at Grant’s Farm—a Missouri roadside zoo owned by Anheuser-Busch—has died, marking the fourth such fatality at the facility this year.

Fifteen-year-old Max was the latest elephant to die there—but far from the first. In the past month alone, he and two other elephants, named Mickey and Toby, died. For now, Grant’s Farm is claiming that Max and Toby died of unknown causes. Mickey suffered from a brain tumor, but it’s unclear whether it caused her death. Earlier this year, an elephant named Bud died of pneumonia.

PETA is calling on Grant’s Farm to be transparent about these deaths by making the elephants’ necropsies and veterinary records public.

Max died at only 15—decades before he reached an elephant’s natural life expectancy.

During his short life, Max never roamed the land like all elephants deserve to do. He was born in captivity at a notorious facility in Arkansas called Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary. His parents were Lil’ Felix and Willie—both of whom were brought to the U.S. as part of the same shipment that took Nosey the elephant from her home.

Scott Riddle, who owns the Arkansas facility that bred Max, is notorious for his cruel training methods. In 1986, an elephant named Twinkles died of a stress-induced heart attack after Riddle and his team, which included Ringling Bros. circus head trainer Gary Jacobson, chained her by all four legs for hours and jabbed her with electric prods and pitchforks.

Riddle and Jacobson were also reportedly involved in the horrific death of an elephant named Tumai, who was kept chained and stretched out in the hot sun for weeks in an effort to discipline him.

A bleak roadside zoo in frigid Missouri is no place for intelligent, sensitive elephants.

Elephants are meant to socialize, forage, play, and roam vast habitats in tropical climates. Zoos across the country are now accepting that it’s impossible to meet the complex needs of these animals in captivity, and many have shut down their elephant displays. Thankfully, Grant’s Farm has agreed not to condemn any more elephants to a miserable life in captivity.

Save Animals Who Suffer in Roadside Zoos

It may be too late for Max and his friends, but countless animals are still imprisoned in shoddy roadside zoos across the country, and you can help them today. Using our action form below, write to Pymatuning Deer Park and urge the facility to release Bosco—an arthritic bear who is forced to live alone in a barren concrete pit—to a reputable sanctuary.

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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