PETA Zeroes in on Circus's Violent Treatment of Baby Elephants
A PETA member wearing an elephant costume will be chained and held to the ground outside the Denver Coliseum on Thursday while the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus forces animals to perform under threat of punishment inside. Other PETA supporters will hold signs that read, "This Is Baby Elephant Training." PETA's point? That a former Ringling employee turned whistleblower furnished PETA with photos that reveal how baby elephants used by Ringling are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for several hours a day in order to force the baby elephants to learn to perform circus tricks out of fear of punishment. The photos—and other damning evidence of Ringling's abuse of animals—can be seen in a video narrated by actor Alec Baldwin.
"Denver residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how baby elephants are violently forced to perform difficult, confusing, and sometimes painful tricks," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. "Since children love animals, the last place that parents and grandparents should take them to is the circus."
Late last year, Ringling paid $270,000—the largest fine in circus history—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Outside the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St. (near the intersection of 44th Street and Arkins Court), Denver
Thursday, September 27, 12 noon