Cruel Elephant Rides to Draw Protesters to Downtown L.A.

Festival Sponsor Has Ties to Notoriously Abusive Exhibitor

For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Los AngelesHave Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), a company with a history of elephant abuse, was caught on video by Animal Defenders International beating elephants with sharp steel-tipped bullhooks, which have recently been banned in Los Angeles, and shocking them with electric prods. But Ron Azarkman, CEO of Curacao, the company holding a children’s street festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, has ignored requests for him to cancel plans to have HTWT provide elephant rides. That’s why PETA—led by a crippled “elephant”—will protest the event.

When:   Saturday, April 12, 12:30 p.m.

Where:  W. Olympic Boulevard and S. Union Avenue, Los Angeles 

“Everyone who cares about elephants and believes they should not be beaten wants these rides to be sent packing,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “By paying such a despicable and cruel enterprise, Curacao has tainted its own reputation.”

The rides can also be dangerous: One of the elephants used by HTWT ran amok at the Denver Zoo, throwing a trainer against a wall, scattering crowds of visitors, and knocking over a mother and her baby. The Los Angeles County Fair, OC Fair, Santa Ana Zoo, Lake Renaissance Festival, Upland Lemon Festival, and Fountain Valley Recreation Center have all ended elephant rides.          

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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