Baby Elephants Beat by Ringling Bros.
As revealed in a Washington Post exposé this morning, PETA was given dozens of never-before-seen photos taken inside Ringling’s Florida training center by a veteran elephant handler that expose the circus’s long-held secret: the violent methods used to train baby elephants.
The heartbreaking photos show baby elephants bound with ropes, slammed to the ground and gouged with bullhooks to learn circus tricks. Will you view these photos and share this story with friends and family and encourage them to never attend a circus that uses animals?
“Ringling’s elephant compound, off-limits to the public, is a torture camp for baby elephants,” says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. “Parents looking for wholesome family entertainment won’t find it at Ringling, where baby elephants are torn from their mothers, repeatedly tied down, gouged with bullhooks, and forced to perform tricks under threat of punishment.”
The following are just some of the abuses documented in the photos:
- Ringling’s general manager using an electric shock prod on a baby elephant
- Baby elephants separated from their mothers by force
- Baby elephants bound with ropes on their legs, trunk, back, and neck as a group of trainers gouge them with bullhooks and slam them to the ground
- Three bullhooks used simultaneously on one baby elephant being forced to learn how to do a headstand
This abusive training goes on for three to four hours a day for up to a year. Since 1998, four of Ringling’s baby elephants have died, including one who broke his hind legs at a training session and another who drowned while trying to escape from a trainer.
Former elephant handler Sam Haddock—who worked at Ringling’s breeding and training center in Polk City off and on between 1997 and 2005—took the photos and described on camera and in a notarized statement how baby elephants scream and struggle during violent training sessions. Haddock, who died in November from a sudden illness, regretted his career toward the end of his life and appealed to PETA to use his evidence to ease his conscience and bring about justice for the elephants.
I am choosing not to post the pictures because I am already an emotional wreck reading this and viewing them. I just can’t bear to right click save, upload, resize etc. forgive me. or thank me. whatever. Just please share this article. Either mine or this one:
For the full story please read here. If you need help growing a heart, go read Dumbo again.
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