01 December 2011
Cruelty To Circus Elephants
Cruelty to elephants as well as other circus animals has been a global issue for over a hundred years, and we are just now recognizing the severity of it all. Millions of charges have been pressed against different circuses in the United States for the abuse and death of the circus elephants. With the rise in charges and complaints of animal cruelty, eyebrows have begun to rise and activists have taken notice and taken a stand.
Circus elephants have been said to travel in train carts up to fifty weeks out of the year being transported from one state to another. The constant travel takes a toll on the elephants and causes them to weave, shifting their weight from one foot to another, which is not normal for an elephant to do in a normal state of health. “’Friend, who is a certified animal behaviorist, believes the elephants weave repetitively in anticipation, or excitement, of what is about to occur”’(Mott). Feld Entertainment, which is part of Ringling Bros. has a population of over fifty endangered elephants in their captivity, which they call their pampered performers, yet their pampered performers are being locked in cages that are nearly just as big as the elephants themselves. For days the elephants are shackled, thirsty and hungry as well as being exposed to deadly diseases such as herpes and tuberculosis. Kenneth Feld, director of Feld Entertainment, admits under oath that “’His
Trainers routinely correct elephants by hitting them with bull-hooks, whipping them, and on occasion using electric prods”’(Nelson). In March of 2004 APHIS inspectors busted a circus in Illinois and removed a whole slew of elephants because of animal cruelty. Out of the sixteen elephants two are being treated for tuberculosis, and the rest are currently happy and healthy (Mott).
“Over 300 Asian and African elephants are...