Grand Circle Corporation Bans All Elephant Rides After PETA Appeal

Travel Company Receives Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Compassionate Action

For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Boston – After communications with PETA and encouragement from more than 300,000 PETA supporters, Boston-based travel company Grand Circle Corporation has committed to no longer offering elephant rides on any of its itineraries. In a statement sent to PETA, the company said, “We take animal welfare very seriously, and over the previous years have removed the vast majority of elephant ride activities from our trips. After careful consideration, we have decided to put a stop to these rides entirely.”

“Grand Circle Corporation has just sent a clear message that elephant rides are cruel and dangerous and have no place in the modern tourism experience,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges travelers to keep all tourist traps that offer elephant rides off their itineraries and to support only the compassionate, informed travel agencies that have pledged to do the same.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that elephants used for rides are often forcibly separated from their mothers, immobilized with tightly bound ropes, and gouged with nail-studded sticks or other sharp objects. Some don’t survive the grueling process, and those who do spend the rest of their lives lugging tourists around or performing tricks under the threat of being beaten with bullhooks (weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a metal hook on one end).

Grand Circle Corporation joins Adventures Within Reach, Alexander+Roberts, Collette, Costco Travel, Shore Excursions Group, Tauck, TripAdvisor, and many other companies in agreeing not to offer activities that involve captive elephants.

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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