Imagine having to perform strenuous physical tasks even though you were suffering from diarrhea and abdominal discomfort so severe that you were taking pain medication. That’s just another day in the life of Banko, a 35-year-old female Asian elephant traveling with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who was forced to perform even though she was sick.
Of course, this is the same Ringling show that is dragging around ailing elephant Sarah, who collapsed last month while being loaded into a boxcar in California. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling for failing to provide Sarah with adequate veterinary care and for requiring Banko to perform (doing so was inconsistent with promoting her good health and well-being).
The USDA also issued a citation to Ringling for handling animals in a way that causes injury after a handler closed a cage door on the tail of a 9-year-old tiger named Kimba, who suffered a laceration as a result. Ringling gave every appearance that it had something to hide when it denied federal officials access to the employee who was responsible.
Tell every parent you know what’s really going on at Ringling Bros. Ask them to avoid supporting circus cruelty by refusing to buy a ticket.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor