Contingency Plans

Protect the public. Make certain that local law enforcement is equipped to handle an emergency in the event that an elephant runs amok. Circus personnel cannot protect themselves, let alone the general public, once an elephant rebels against a trainer’s physical dominance. Stressed elephants rampage and are nearly impossible to stop without lethal force.

An elephant who went berserk in Florida in 1992 with five children on her back was shot with more than 50 rounds of ammunition before an officer was located who happened to have armor-piercing bullets specially designed by the military to penetrate steel. In 1994, an elephant’s deadly rampage lasted an hour in downtown Honolulu. Department-issued semi-automatic pistols were useless, and a zoo veterinarian’s lethal injections had no effect. The police finally located a high-powered counter-sniper rifle and fired three rounds into her heart. She had been shot 87 times.

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“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