Skip to comments.Ringling Bros. Battles to Keep Elephants (Fighting animal rights advocates)
Posted on 06/03/2006 4:01:38 PM PDT by CedarDave
The Asian elephants used in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are at the heart of perhaps the most bitter animal-care fight around, one that's dragged through court for six years already and is inching toward a trial.
Its adversaries - a group including the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Welfare Institute - argue vehemently that circus life is inherently cruel to the elephants.
They allege that the use of sharpened hooks by trainers, the routine use of chains, the separation of baby elephants from their mothers and other common circus practices add up to an egregious violation of the Endangered Species Act, which covers the Asian elephant and prohibits harm to it. The suit's goal is a court order halting these practices, which the activists believe would force Ringling to give up elephants altogether.
Ringling shows no signs of bowing to pressure, and has become more outspoken in defending itself since the first-of-its-kind suit was filed in 2000. "We train animals through reward, repetition and reinforcement - based on science," said former zookeeper Bruce Read, Ringling's vice president for animal stewardship. "Punishment is not used in the circus."
More generally, Read said circus life - including 50 weeks a year on the road - is not stressful to the elephants because the social groups around them, animal and human, are stable. He said young elephants aren't separated from their mothers until trainers are confident of their maturity.
"The Asian elephant has been semi-domesticated for centuries," said Read, citing its use in warfare, farming and various ceremonies. "Our circus brings them to areas where people don't see such animals very often. That's not something we should deprive our future generations of."
(Excerpt) Read more at lasvegassun.com ...
Ugh. I have never liked the circus. No more elephants. Kids can see them in nature preserves or now video , dvd's. the time is over for this travesty and cruelty!
Yes, release them back into the wild where they will be promptly slaughtered.
I don't think elephants versus animal rights activists is a fair fight, but it would be fun to watch.
Messed up my comment -- agree that it would be unfortunate for young and old to be deprived of seeing elephants up close. Heck, when we were children, we were given rides on their backs (don't think that's the case today due to liability issues).
What's crazy about the lawsuit is that RB's use of animals bred and raised in the US is being challenged because of loss of habitat overseas.
I'm okay with them keeping the elephants but can they please get rid of the clowns?
I know, they are scary as heck......8^D
Kind of like a Gallagher show?
Still working on that recovery, eh?
A couple of additional facts that I did not include in the excerpt:
It would seem they have a better life at the breeding facility than on the Asian subcontinent where competition for land between man and elephants ends up with the elephant as the loser.
Yeah, we see enough of them in Washington...
About 8 years ago, my daughter and I got a ride on an elephant at a small circus in Florida (she needed daddy to ride with her)
Gawd ... what's next? No clowns?
As long as the limousine Liberals continue funding them, we'll never get rid of the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Welfare Institute.
Next up in the "court" barrel. Rodeos!
This is a perfect example of how these activist groups are using the courts to destroy our traditions, restrict our freedoms, and generally turn America into a tepid bowl of mush.
I can only wonder whether clowns are an ancient tradition of devil worship, seriously - clowns in some cultures represent a portal to the world of the dead. People like to turn what they fear into something to ridicule. I think that it is this human impulse which has created clowns and which makes them so scary... sort of a reverse scary.
Im with you on this one. Clowns freak me out man. Never trust someone wearing a painted on smile. Dont care much for mimes or monkeys either.
I took my grand daughter to the local circus, and wanted
her to pose for pictures with the clowns. She was terrified
of them. Even the women clowns scared the heck out of her.
I think it might have been all the make up. Not sure just a guess.
"Dont care much for mimes or monkeys either." Mimes are clowns and yes monkeys are disturbing.
women clowns??? oh my gosh. way back when I was going to circuses, there were no women clowns. That would be much much scarier.
Mabel - Born April 6, 2006
Wow. That was such a brilliant response. DUH.
How lame...those that respond to my Freepr name as if that were a response to a comment.
I suppose I should then respond to any comment you make with " What can you expect from someone in Vegas? "
dude... like peace man... / heavy sarcasm
The fact is they are NOT taken care of well.
Animals that are in more natural habitats, such as Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL are very well taken care of and children can see them live and very up close. If you will read my post...I did not limit the children to DVD's/ there are more zoos now than ever before that now make the elephant quarters more condusive to their natural setting.
Perhaps I feel that we have a duty to also teach our children to respect animals as God's creatures.
In order for me to take this picture, I had to bribe her
with Ice Cream, Hot Dogs, and other treats. Pretty expensive picture.
More kids are frightened by clowns than by elephnts.
MY banners scream "See the Strange Thing" I work the west coast---I can tell you that pc has run amok. I am in the last generation of showmen and show-women. After centuries of history, our lot is being slowly outlawed by one regulation or another.
I educate, entertain and fascinate, all for a single dollar. But, the resistence I have by some fairs is incredible and defies logic.
By definition, I am sideshow. On the west coast sideshow has all but disappeared over the last 30 years. There are only a couple of big shows left, Ward Hall and his World of Wonders and Bobby Reynolds and by extension, John Strong Jr.
The powers that be and the do-gooders do not realize who their customer base is--what folks want to see and do. What I do is no different that what Ripley did back in the 30s, although on a smaller scale.
The elephants and Ringling Bros....Its all part of the same effort to stamp us out for good. To santitize and control us. We are the last of a wandering tribe of showfolk that has had a long and proud line of tradition dating back eons--and in the end it will be regulated out of existence.
This lawsuit is just one of many acts in recent years. In one state attemtpts were to outlaw exotic snake/animal shows and relagate such view to the local museum or zoo... (MA, I think).
Years ago an old carnival operator told me: "If they still didn;t think we bit the heads off of snakes, they wouldn't come." He was right then and he is right today. Folks want a little brush with danger, the unseemly, the odd and the bizzare.
My museum works today, even in the day and age of modern media and the flow of information. Folks want to see a crypto-zoological wonder--they want "To become a witness to the unkown, right before their eyes."
I hope Ringling wins the lawsuit and marches those elephants right on down to the courthouse--Imagine, putting the Circus on trial--kinda like putting Santa Claus on trial... Prof. J.M. Reid America's Smallest Travelling Museum/See The Strange Thing
Yep - really creepy. Kinda proves my point doesnt it.
I think Steven King's It also contributed to my dislike of clowns. That and those really bad paintings, you know the ones.
And I never liked monkeys after the Wizzard of OZ and I have nightmares about tornadoes to boot.
I think I have issues.
WHOA, somebody must have scared the heck out of you when you were a kid....8^)
I say turn them over to PETA. Oops I forgot they will just be killed and dumped in the garbage.
Too appropriate to ignore. DUH!
" What can you expect from someone in Vegas? "
We like to see elephants when we go to a circus - ?
Just for the record, you are not including our Area 51 aliens (they don't have papers) in your tag line comment, are you?
"Animals that are in more natural habitats, such as Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL are very well taken care of and children can see them live and very up close"
Of course the eco freaks are campaigning world wide to prohibit the keeping of elephants in facilities like Busch Gardens. Thats the next step.
"Its all part of the same effort to stamp us out for good. To santitize and control us."
Dont feel isolated. Their goal is to santitize and controll all of us.
I think America will really lose something if circuses and carnivals are forced out of business by the Animal/Safety Nazis. So much for live and let live. Best of luck to you Sir--I always respect people who strive to make the world a more interesting place (in a good way).
Maybe the circus can suggest to the crazies that if they can't use the elephants in the show they'll just have to kill them and eat them.
Oh for heavens' sake, will you please whine about something important and not attack the circus.
I don't agree with that...but there are ways to be respectful and humane with animals, yet not go to extremes.
There are a lot of things I have an opinion about...this is one of them. I don't like the circus, never have. Not every thing is life and death..yet may still be important.
For me , treating animals with respect and as humaely as possible is what compassioate human beings are responsible to do. I would want to pass these values on to our children also.
"but there are ways to be respectful and humane with animals, yet not go to extremes."
Sure there are, but as always the devil is in the details. Define extreme.
The eco/animal freaks insist that anything not natural is extreme. These folks want to return vast tracts of the world to "nature" and prohibit any human use of those areas.
Good one. Liberals. . .it's always all about them.