Five ‘Elephant Prisoners’ to Confront Potential Circusgoers

Ringling's Latest Vet-Care Violation Prompts PETA Protest

For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Atlanta – Wearing prison suits, elephant masks, and chains, five “elephants” will lead PETA protesters as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus prepares for its opening night in Atlanta on Wednesday. The protesters want to alert would-be audience members that the circus was recently caught denying veterinary care to three suffering elephants who were apparently locked in boxcars for as long as four days at a time while on the road.

Where:           Philips Arena, 51 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. N.W. (near the intersection with Philips Drive), Atlanta

When:             Wednesday, February 11, 6:30 p.m.

“Keeping elephants in chains leads to arthritis and foot problems, the leading reasons why captive elephants are euthanized—yet Ringling Bros. continues to chain up lame elephants like prisoners, forcing them to serve life sentences with no parole,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on parents, grandparents, and anyone who cares about animals to keep their families far away from this cruel circus.”

Constant confinement isn’t the only cruelty inflicted on elephants used by Ringling. Photos taken inside Ringling’s training center reveal how baby elephants are jabbed with bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end—to force them to perform circus tricks out of fear of punishment. Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actor Edie Falco stars in a video for PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—asking parents to keep their kids away from circuses.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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