Tell Ringling Brothers to Retire Their Elephants to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
This petition had 160,362 supporters
TELL RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS TO SEND THEIR ELEPHANTS TO THE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY WHERE THEY WILL NEVER BE BEATEN, CHAINED OR ABUSED AGAIN
In March 2015 Ringling Bros. Circus owners (Ken, Nicole and Alana Feld) made the historic announcement that, by 2018, it would no longer force its elephants to perform in the circus. The Feld’s stated that this decision was not only based on a change in public opinion that resulted in a “mood shift” among their patrons, it is the “best thing” for the elephants.
However, Ringling wants to retire its elephants to its “Center for Elephant Conservation” (CEC); the same place where these elephants have been beaten, chained and abused for decades. The CEC is also managed by the very people who have been beating and abusing these elephants for decades.
For years, Ringling has used the CEC as a breeding and training facility to ensure the circus would have a steady supply of elephants for use in their circus shows. At this facility, the baby elephants are ripped away from their mothers at approximately two years of age. By contrast in the wild, a female elephant would never leave her mother and family, and a male elephant would not leave until he’s approximately 12 to 14 years of age.
At the CEC, Ringling rips baby elephants from their mothers by chaining the mother elephant to a wall and tying ropes around the baby, which are pulled by another elephant and four people; dragging the kicking and screaming baby from their mother. According to sworn affidavits from Ringling employees, Ringling then chains and ties up the baby elephants’ legs so they can’t even turn around, sometimes for months on end, to break their spirit. Once their spirit is broken Ringling begins to force the babies to obey and do tricks by tying them up with ropes, beating them with bullhooks (weapons that resemble fireplace pokers), electro-shocking them with electro-shock devices, and forcing them into circus trick positions with brute force. This is only the beginning of a life of misery – the beatings, chaining, abuse and deprivation continue throughout the elephants’ adult lives.
Click here to see photos of Ringling’s baby elephant “training” at the CEC.
Ringling’s CEC is only 200 acres and the elephants do not have free access to it as Ringling confines the elephants in outdoor pens and paddocks during the day and chains them up at night in a barn, for 15 hours of every day. They also do not have free access to water and are only given water twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. Moreover, there are no ponds or lakes at the CEC for elephants to swim and play in, which is essential for an elephant’s well-being.
Additionally, Ringling uses bullhooks (a weapon resembling a fireplace poker) to handle, control, and manage the elephants through fear and violence; bullhooks are used to beat, jab, and hook elephants, causing them pain and fear, throughout their entire lives. Ringling also controls all aspects of the elephants’ lives, including forcing elephants to hold each others’ tails when they walk; forcing elephants to lift up their trunks to show submission; deciding when the elephants eat, drink water or get a bath; and deciding which elephants can socialize with each other.
Ringling’s CEC exist for one reason: to exploit and make money off of elephants. Recently Ringling crafted a new PR scheme claiming the elephants will be used for “cancer research.” This is just another attempt by Ringling to justify their continued abuse and exploitation of these gentle giants who Ringling has used and abused their entire lives just to make the Feld family billionaires.
RINGLING ELEPHANTS DESERVE BETTER THAN RINGLING THEY DESERVE THE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY.
In stark contrast to Ringling’s CEC, The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) in Tennessee provides Asian elephants with 2700 acres of natural Tennessee wilderness, to which the elephants have free access all day every day.
At TES elephants are never chained and they have access to water all day every day. They also have ponds and a lake to swim, bathe and play in, which is essential to an elephant’s health.
Moreover, because TES allows elephants to manage their own lives, bullhooks and other weapons are unnecessary and never used on the elephants.
TES exist for one reason: to allow captive elephants the freedom to be elephants.
There is no question that the “best thing” for Ringling’s elephants is to be retired to TES. After exploiting these elephants for many years, for personal financial gain, the Feld family has the opportunity to do the right thing – both for the elephants and for their public image. It’s time the Feld’s repay the elephants by giving them their freedom at The Elephant Sanctuary.
This is the public’s opportunity to let the Feld family know that the country is watching and demanding that the Feld family live up to their stated desire to do the “best thing” for these elephants by sending them to The Elephant Sanctuary.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO TELL KEN, NICOLE AND ALANA FELD TO IMMEDIATELY SEND THE ELEPHANTS TO THE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN TENNESSEE.
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