40 year old Marie and 49 year old Schell have been travelling together with the circus for most of their lives, subject to cruel performances, long trailer rides and hours to days chained up in a small area, up to 48 weeks per year. Marie, who was taken from the wild at age two, has been performing for the past 38 years. She has been with Tarzan Zerbini since she was six. Schell was also taken from the wild and was used for breeding for 25 years before being sold to the circus. She has now been performing for 23 years.
These two elephants travel all across North America, featured as the "star act" of many different shows. They "live" in Florida but are shipped as far as Canada every year. They have shown symptoms of PTSD in behaviours such as repetitive head-bobbing and obsessively swaying back and forth in one place. They are continually living in fear of the bullhook, a cruel weapon used by circus trainers to force elephants into submission. It is also likely that Schell and Marie are suffering from foot or leg related issues due to the long periods they spend standing on concrete, and the number of times they have been seen holding certain legs off of the ground. Tuberculosis and other ailments are possibilities, as their owners have had numerous USDA violations for improper animal care and quarantine.
By signing this petition, you are asking Tarzan Zerbini Productions and the Shrine Circus to finally have mercy on Schell and Marie and retire them to a sanctuary, where they can recover from years of confinement and unnatural living conditions. They deserve a larger family herd and autonomy to finally be able to do what they wish for the final years of their lives. At this point, they only have each other for family and comfort so it would be a tragedy to postpone their freedom until when one of them passes on. Please finally give these animals the liberty and dignity they deserve.
Nicholas Wilvert started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,644 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.