Costumed 'Elephant' to Draw Attention to Circus's Cruelty to Animals
August 20, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Sarasota, Fla. – A man who legally changed his name to CircusesHurtAnimals.com out of concern about the mistreatment of animals in circuses will appear with an “elephant” outside The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art—which also features a circus museum—on Thursday to protest Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ well-documented cruelty to elephants and other animals. The protesters will display compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s Florida training compound that expose how baby elephants used by Ringling are taken from their mothers, stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks—weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with sharp hooks on one end—and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for weeks until the baby elephants’ spirits are broken and they submit and obey commands.
When: Thursday, August 21, 3 p.m.
Where: Outside The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota
“PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment’—would promote the museum if it exhibited the real artifacts of life for animals in the circus: bullhooks, chains, and unventilated boxcars,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The museum could stand as a reminder that the days of hauling animals from city to city and beating them until they perform silly tricks are coming to an end.”
In late 2011, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Actor Alec Baldwin narrated a video exposé that focuses on how circuses abuse elephants.