Get the Facts
The tricks that animals are forced to perform, night after night, are frightening, unnatural, and even painful. Standard circus industry practice is to use bullhooks and other objects to poke, prod, strike, shock, and hit animals in order to "train" them — although this may not be what's seen in the ring or in carefully-controlled public tours.
Animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year traveling. For thousands of hours, over long distances, they may be chained while not performing, transported in vehicles that lack climate control, and forced to stand or lie in their own waste.
In addition, we have Ringling's own internal written documents that discuss the mistreatment of the elephants. For example, Ringling's animal behaviorist reported "an elephant dripping blood all over the arena floor during the show from being hooked." In an internal email, a Ringling veterinary assistant reported that "[a]fter this morning's baths, at least 4 of the elephants came in with multiple abrasions and lacerations from the hooks." After the release of this information to the public, Ringling moved to prohibit the release of any additional information to the public provided via discovery.
- Documents received through discovery
- Tom Rider's USDA affidavit
- Declaration of Archelle Huntley
- Declaration of Robert Tom
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You Can Help
Please donate to the Elephant Defense Fund and help us continue our fight. With your support, we will do everything we can to end the mistreatment of elephants in circuses and traveling shows.
2009 Ringling Bros. Footage »