PETA Statement: Elephant’s Life Cut Short After Years of Suffering

For Immediate Release:
November 16, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

PETA Foundation Counsel Rachel Mathews released the following statement in response to the recent death of Tova, an elephant who died less than two months after being moved from Ringling Bros.’ Florida facility to the Tulsa Zoo:

This elephant’s life was cut short at 43, far less than the 70 years that elephants are expected to live in nature, where they walk for miles a day in close-knit family herds. That opportunity was stolen from Tova when she was torn away from the wild as a baby and bounced from zoo to zoo, then to Ringling’s Florida training facility, and finally to the Tulsa Zoo, where she died in poor health just two weeks after Ringling boasted about her well-being on Twitter. Her sad life story is exactly why PETA is calling for Ringling Bros. to give elephants a true retirement at an accredited sanctuary and urging all families to stay away from zoos and circuses that exploit elephants.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about Ringling Bros. is available at

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