PETA Offers Up to $10K Reward to Find Witnesses to Alleged Elephant Beating

Group Seeks Conviction of Circus Handler Who Bystander Says Was Seen Beating an Elephant in Ohio

For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382 

Point Place, Ohio — According to an eyewitness’ sworn affidavit, an elephant handler from Carson & Barnes Circus—which supplies the elephant acts for Kelly Miller Circus, an outfit that partners with exhibitors that have histories of animal abuse—beat an elephant with four children on her back until she screamed on August 8, when Kelly Miller was in Point Place. The witness reports that the handler struck the elephant with what was apparently a bullhook—a weapon with a sharp steel hook on the end that resembles a fireplace poker, which is illegal to use on elephants in Ohio—forcefully three times, producing audible whacks. Police have made no arrests in connection with this crime, so PETA is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for an additional eyewitness who can provide information that leads to the conviction of the alleged elephant beater.

PETA asks anyone with information about the reported August 8 elephant beating to e-mail [email protected]

“Anyone who beats an elephant with a bullhook in violation of Ohio law should face the legal consequences,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “If anyone saw an elephant handler with Kelly Miller Circus beat an elephant—in Point Place or elsewhere—please, do the right thing and come forward because the elephant can’t tell the tale.”

Carson & Barnes and other exhibitors used by Kelly Miller have a history of beating animals. An undercover video captured a Carson & Barnes elephant trainer viciously attacking elephants with a bullhook and shocking them with electric prods. Earlier this summer, eyewitnesses reported that other exhibitors with Kelly Miller whipped a camel and several zebras—including a baby—and struck a small dog and a tiger on the face. Both circuses have racked up other violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for denying adequate veterinary care to animals and public endangerment.

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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