Barack, an elephant that performs with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, was born on Inauguration Eve, 2009. In his two short years of life, he has become sick twice with elephant herpes virus, a disease that has a mortality rate of 85 percent and has killed several young Asian elephants in zoos across the U.S.
The virus occurs when the elephant’s immune system is weakened by factors including stress. Before he was even a year old, Barack started performing with the circus. His daily life has been a grueling routine of rigorous training, performing and constant travel between venues. None of this is natural for an elephant. Barack should be retired to an elephant sanctuary instead of being forced to perform.
In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, asking for it to intervene and stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from endangering baby elephants. Please sign the petition asking the USDA to take this action to save the lives of Barack and all performing elephant calves.