Herd of ‘Elephants’ to Converge Downtown on Ringling’s Opening Day in St. Louis

Formal Complaint Filed With St. Louis County Animal Care and Control Over Elephant’s Injuries

For Immediate Release:
October 16, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

St. Louis, Mo. —  A herd of inflatable “elephants” will lead members of PETA in a protest against the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Thursday. The “elephants” will be draped with banners reading, “Shackled,” “Lonely,” “Beaten,” and “Taken From My Mother,” while the protesters will display compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s baby-elephant training center. The photos reveal that baby elephants are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods in order to force them to learn to obey out of fear of punishment. PETA’s video exposé, narrated by Alec Baldwin, also reveals how Ringling abuses elephants on the road.

When:   Thursday, October 17, 12 noon

Where:  At the intersection of Sixth and Olive streets, St. Louis

The demonstration comes on the heels of a complaint that PETA filed with St. Louis Animal Care and Control urging officials to prohibit Ringling from forcing the elephant Siam to perform. Very recent veterinary observations indicate that Siam suffers from cracked toenails on both rear feet—injuries that could turn into even more painful abscesses if she continues to be forced to perform tricks such as standing on two legs. Foot injuries are the leading cause of euthanasia in captive elephants, and they are often associated with elephants’ being continuously chained on hard surfaces.

“St. Louis residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how elephants are chained for hours—and even days—at a time and beaten into performing difficult and sometimes painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is telling families that if their children love animals, the circus is the last place they should go.”

For more information, please visit PETA’s website RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.


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