Eyewitness Reports Elephant Beating at Au Gres–Bound Circus

PETA Asks Feds to Investigate Sworn Testimony That Handler Beat Elephant Until She Screamed

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Au Gres, Mich. — Based on an eyewitness report that a Carson & Barnes Circus elephant handler who is currently traveling with the Kelly Miller Circus—which is scheduled to perform in Au Gres this week—beat an elephant with four children on her back until she screamed, PETA has submitted a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to the citizen’s sworn affidavit, the elephant was being used to give rides in Point Place, Ohio, on Thursday, August 8, when the handler beat her with a “stick” that appeared to have a sharp hook on the end—commonly known to circuses as a “bullhook,” a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker. The elephant was reportedly hit three times in her armpit area so forcefully that each strike produced an audible “whack” sound and she screamed after the third strike.

“This is the second eyewitness-based complaint about exhibitors with this cruel circus that PETA has filed this summer,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “Kelly Miller Circus welcomes exhibitors who apparently abuse elephants, camels, and other animals used in its shows—so PETA is urging all families to stay far away from this abusive circus.”

Kelly Miller has been cited for denying adequate veterinary care to animals, public endangerment, and numerous other violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. A PETA complaint filed earlier this summer included eyewitnesses’ sworn affidavits stating that exhibitors with Kelly Miller whipped a camel, tigers, and several zebras (including a baby); struck a small dog and tigers on the face; and tethered animals so tightly that they could barely take a step.

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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