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.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.