Walking, Talking, Life-Size Mechanical Elephant Will Lead Circus Protest

PETA Wants Long-Suffering Elephants Released to Sanctuary, Not Kept in Chains at Ringling's Breeding Center

For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

“Ellie,” a stunningly realistic, life-size mechanical elephant who moves her head, legs, and trunk—and who has traveled across the country explaining to schoolchildren how circuses hurt animals—will lead PETA’s protest outside Ringling Bros.’ opening night performance on Thursday in Charleston.

Where:           Charleston Civic Center, Charleston

When:             Thursday, April 21, 6:30 p.m.

Ringling plans to end its elephant acts by May, and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is calling for the animals to be properly retired to an accredited sanctuary. Ringling says that it plans to confine the elephants to its Florida breeding facility, where it keeps them in shackles on concrete, separates mothers from babies, trains them with bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on one end—and breeds them. Records show that nearly every elephant used by Ringling has foot problems or musculoskeletal disorders, and multiple elephants with the circus have tested positive for tuberculosis, which is transmissible to humans. More than half of the elephants currently at Ringling’s breeding facility are under travel restrictions related to the disease.

“Kind people don’t want to see elephants denied everything that’s natural and important to them or kept in chains at Ringling’s breeding facility,” says PETA Foundation Captive Animal Law Enforcement Counsel Rachel Mathews. “PETA wants these elephants retired to a sanctuary where they’ll be free from all the stress and deprivation that make them sick and keep them in pain.”

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

Contact

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 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