Abnormal Behaviors

• Elephants who drag their trunks may be suffering from partial trunk paralysis caused by trauma. There should be a record of veterinary care for this condition.

• Open-mouthed breathing can be a sign that an elephant is in pain.

• Bringing their ears forward and extending them out from the head, spraying water or dirt, and using their trunks to throw objects at people can all be signs of aggression.

• Look for signs of “stereotypic” behavior—rocking, swaying, head-bobbing, or other repetitive movement. Stereotypic behavior is a sign of psychological distress.

• Elephants typically will not lie down on their own in the presence of strangers. An elephant who remains in a recumbent position may be sick.

• Crossing their legs may indicate irritation and itching caused by chaining, a stomach ache, and/or joint pain.

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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