Veterinary Expert Determines That Circus Is Still Forcing Elephants With Painful Conditions to Perform
For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Rosemont, Ill. – A veterinarian with decades of experience with elephants has concluded that four of the elephants being used by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Karen, Nicole, Rudy, and Kelly Ann) are suffering from foot problems—most of them chronic—which can be fatal in elephants, so PETA has sent an urgent request to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office asking it to intervene and stop Ringling from forcing the four elephants to perform in the city. All have large cracks in their toenails, which are conditions of serious concern in these animals, and photographs show that Nicole is suffering from a painful nail abscess. Karen and Nicole also show signs of painful arthritis. Allowing any of these ailing elephants to perform will aggravate their conditions and could violate state laws.
“Arthritis and foot problems are the leading reasons why captive elephants are euthanized in the United States, yet Ringling is forcing elephants with these conditions to travel and perform painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on Cook County authorities to do what Ringling won’t: Pull Nicole, Karen, Rudy, and Kelly Ann from the show.”
Dr. Philip K. Ensley, a board-certified veterinarian who served as the associate vet for the Zoological Society of San Diego for 29 years, observed the elephants this month while the circus was in Denver. Based on his observations, Dr. Ensley has expressed his expert opinion that these elephants should be removed not only from performing but also “from travelling with the circus” since their foot lesions can’t heal if they continue to be forced to do tricks such as standing on two legs.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and PETA is urging families who don’t want to support the miserable suffering of elephants like Karen, Nicole, Rudy, and Kelly Ann to stay away from animal circuses.
For more information, please visit RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.