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Barack, a 2-year-old elephant calf who was at one point traveling with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is being treated (again) for elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV). The scientific literature recognizes that stress is strongly associated with EEHV. Ringling has been subjecting baby Barack to the stress of transport, cruel “training,” and performances since he was less than a year old.
This is the second time that Barack has been treated for EEHV in his young life, and there is no cure for the disease, which is usually fatal in elephants. It has a staggering 80 percent mortality rate in captive Asian elephants.
Unless Barack and his mother, Bonnie, are sent to a sanctuary, Barack may very well die from this disease. The circus can make itself truly “The Greatest Show on Earth” by retiring the rest of its elephants too.
Written by Michelle Kretzer