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Goodbye to Ringling Bros circus elephants this May

missy

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It's something and I am glad they will not be under those horrid circus conditions anymore forced to do stupid tricks but I wish all animals would be taken off the circus circuit and other venues and allow them to be in peace and contentment at animal sanctuaries. I worry that the Ringling Bros elephants won't be spending their "retirement" years in true contentment and wish they were going to be in a wonderful sanctuary instead. Hopefully my worries are unfounded and they will be able to enjoy the years they have left in contentment and peace.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/us/ringling-circus-elephants-take-early-retirement-to-florida.html?_r=0

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160111-ringling-elephants-retire/

The days of lumbering elephants performing under big-top tents are coming to an end sooner than planned.

Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, said in a statement on Monday that it was phasing out its Asian elephants and moving the creatures from their traveling circuses to a conservation center in Florida in May, a year and a half sooner than anticipated.

The move would bring to 40 the number of elephants at the center, the company said. The cost of caring for the 11 touring elephants is about $65,000 a year, and Feld Entertainment said it wants to use that money to focus on conservation and pediatric cancer research instead.

This is a switch from last March, when the company had said it would phase out its touring elephant units, which perform 1,000 shows a year, by 2018.

The announcement on Monday came after decades of claims by animal rights activists that the circus treated the giant creatures cruelly, including complaints about its use of long, hooked poles called bullhooks, and other methods of control.

Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, said the decision was driven by economics, not complaints, as more cities placed restrictions on housing, restraining and transporting the animals.

“Rather than fight city hall, we decided to take those resources and use them for conservation of the species,” he said in a telephone interview.

The animals have riveted audiences for years, especially in cities where their arrival became a ritual, parading to the Staples Center in Los Angeles or through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in New York.

The remaining two elephant units still on tour — one with five of the animals and the other with six — are scheduled to appear in another 27 shows, including in Brooklyn from February 25 through March 6.

Mr. Payne said the last two shows to feature elephants would likely be “Circus Xtreme” in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and “Legends” in Providence, R.I., both on May 1.

When the 11 elephants take up residence with the 29 others in Florida, they will become part of the company’s pediatric cancer research partnership, Mr. Payne said.

That research involves testing blood samples from the elephants, whose distinctive p53 gene makes them exceptional cancer fighters, for use in studies at the Primary Children’s Hospital and The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Animal welfare groups gave mixed responses to the announcement on Monday.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in an emailed statement that the public had lost its taste for “abusive” shows and called on the company to end all of its animal acts, including ones with big cats.

She added that there was a danger of disease transmission from the animals, highlighting a report published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that investigated a possible transmission of tuberculosis from elephants in an Oregon zoo to humans.

Mr. Payne said the company’s elephants have tested negative for TB.

Cathy Liss, president of the Animal Welfare Institute, said the group was reassured that the elephants would no longer “be hauled around the country,” but said it was still concerned about their treatment at the Florida center, where they have been “confined in chains on concrete floors and subjected to the use of bullhooks and electric prods.”

Mr. Payne said the elephants were shackled at night to keep them from stealing each other’s food, but then spent days outside with the herd.

P.E.T.A. said that in the United States there are about 17 traveling circuses, including Ringling, that still use elephants.
The Humane Society’s president, Wayne Pacelle, praised it on his blog as “a second wave of good news” from Ringling. “For wild animals whose natural habitat is outdoors, life in a traveling show is filled with unending misery … all so they can perform silly tricks.”


Arriving at the Center for Elephant Conservation in May, while the scrubby palmetto are blooming white, will be elephants ranging in age from 5 to 47. The youngest, April, after a year on the road, will be returning to her mother, Alana (named for the middle daughter of company owner Kenneth Feld), and to her father, Charlie, a seasoned stud whose latest mate is pregnant and due in September.

“You could say it’s not a retirement” for most of the performers, said Payne, “but a family reunion. And it might be a good excuse for a party.”

http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urge-ringling-bros-stop-cruel-elephant-acts-now/


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that it will end its elephant acts by May 2016. This is exciting news, but these elephants will still be threatened with bullhooks at its breeding farm in Florida, the so-called Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC), where elephants are kept in shackles, bred, and used as test subjects. And that's to say nothing of the tigers, horses, camels, and other animals Ringling will continue to use unless we ACT NOW!

Conditions at Ringling's breeding compound are nearly as bad as they are on the road. According to the sworn testimony of the head of the CEC, elephants at the facility are chained on concrete for most of the day—and sometimes for weeks on end. That includes pregnant mothers, who are kept in chains while giving birth. Inspectors have found baby elephants at the CEC with chain wounds on their legs, and the facility's records show that most of the elephants there have foot or leg problems related to intensive confinement. In addition, the facility is a hotbed of tuberculosis and has been under quarantine for years.

Other animals carted around by Ringling will continue to be transported in cramped boxcars, exposed to the stressors of travel, often trained like this, and forced to perform ridiculous tricks using fear, punishment, and pain.

Please speak up TODAY by signing this petition and urging Ringling to end ALL ANIMAL ACTS IMMEDIATELY and to retire the animals to accredited sanctuaries, where they can truly be free of painful bullhooks and whips and have some semblance of a natural life after years of mistreatment and deprivation.

Please follow up by tweeting to Nicole Feld (@NicoleFeld)—executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, Ringling's parent company—and urging her to use her position of authority to take all the animals off the road and send them to true sanctuaries.



Please End All Animal Acts and Send the Animals to Accredited Sanctuaries

I was thrilled to hear that Ringling Bros. is ending its elephant acts this May. Although this is a great step in the right direction, as someone who greatly cares about the welfare of animals, I urge you to take all animals off the road now and send them to accredited sanctuaries. They need space to roam without restraints, and they need care and rest to heal their ailing bodies. The nation's eye is on you once again, and now is the time to listen to the public outcry and stop forcing magnificent, sentient beings to perform ridiculous tricks. Please end all animal acts NOW.


I agree with the above bolded comments. I know many people don't however. What do you think? Cruel or Kind? Ethical or not? Is the better good being served allowing animals to work in the entertainment field such as circuses and carriage rides in the park? I am against the use of animals in this way for people's entertainment and the conditions they have been kept under are deplorable but I would like to hear others perspectives on this especially if you are for it.

For those of you who might bring up the topic of zoos I have my thoughts on that issue as well. Speaking with many people in the field who are knowledgeable I understand that zoos help save animals and when done correctly they are a good thing. Help children appreciate different animals, help conserve different species and I know that SonnyJane here can offer some good info so hope she sees this. I will add there is a big difference between zoos. Some are great-because they allow their animals to run "free" in big areas and rather keep the people "caged" i.e. the Bronx Zoo and the San Diego Zoo and the Washington Zoo. I haven't been to any zoos for over 17 years now because my dh finds zoos sad because of the animals being "prisoners" but we both realize that zoos have an important role and some of them do it right.

Anyway curious about any and all thoughts.
 

missy

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http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/01/us/ringling-bros-elephants-last-show/


(CNN)After years of giant tricks and synchronized dances, the elephants at Ringling Bros. will perform in one final act Sunday.

The elephants' last show will be in Providence, RI, the circus said, nearly two years before the pachyderms' expected retirement.
The Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, had said all its touring elephants would head to a Florida conservation center by 2018.
It appears the animals are going to the facility a bit earlier.


Outcry from animal rights groups

The retirement marks the end of an an era for the elephants, which had been a big part of the Ringling Bros.' performances.
For years, the elephants and their graceful dance routines featured prominently in the shows.
But several animal rights groups repeatedly criticized, picketed and sued the Ringling Bros. for its treatment of the animals.
In 2011, the circus was fined $270,000 by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.


Other animals

The elephants may be gone, but other animals will stay put.
Last year, Ringling Bros. said its shows "will continue to feature other extraordinary animal performers, including tigers, lions, horses, dogs and camels."


When the initial retirement announcement was made, Ringling Bros. had 13 elephants traveling for its shows. When they are moved, 42 Asian elephants will call the conservation center home.

The Ringling Bros.' elephant conservation center sits on 200 acres of land in rural Florida, halfway between Orlando and Sarasota.
The circus visits about 115 cities each year with a full cast of between 250 and 300 people.
150305125104-03-ringling-elephants-restricted-exlarge-169.jpg
 

sonnyjane

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missy|1462102608|4025744 said:
I agree with the above bolded comments. I know many people don't however. What do you think? Cruel or Kind? Ethical or not? Is the better good being served allowing animals to work in the entertainment field such as circuses and carriage rides in the park? I am against the use of animals in this way for people's entertainment and the conditions they have been kept under are deplorable but I would like to hear others perspectives on this especially if you are for it.

For those of you who might bring up the topic of zoos I have my thoughts on that issue as well. Speaking with many people in the field who are knowledgeable I understand that zoos help save animals and when done correctly they are a good thing. Help children appreciate different animals, help conserve different species and I know that SonnyJane here can offer some good info so hope she sees this. I will add there is a big difference between zoos. Some are great-because they allow their animals to run "free" in big areas and rather keep the people "caged" i.e. the Bronx Zoo and the San Diego Zoo and the Washington Zoo. I haven't been to any zoos for over 17 years now because my dh finds zoos sad because of the animals being "prisoners" but we both realize that zoos have an important role and some of them do it right.

Anyway curious about any and all thoughts.
I don't like that they are being retired in order to now have to tutor blood draws for cancer research...


Regarding zoos, yes they have a conservation role, but after working for one of the best for several years, I'm with your husband - I'll never go to one again if I can help it. Zoos are businesses, which means decisions are made with the best interest of the business in mind, and that often isn't the same thing that is in the animal's best interest. There are people at zoos that love and care for their animals very much - I was one and still have friends at many zoos that are still working - but I absolutely couldn't see it or do it anymore.

Everything Sea World has gotten so much negative attention for happens at every zoo across the world everyday, there just hasn't been a documentary on them yet...
 

missy

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Thank you for chiming in Sonnyjane, I knew you would know the facts about all of this. So sad.
Why are we so mean to animals and why do we value money over living creatures. Not asking for the answers here as these are just rhetorical and frustrating and heartbreaking questions that cause my heart and head hurt.
Grrr :nono: :nono: :nono: I honestly have the potential to commit violence towards people who mistreat animals. :cry: :cry: :cry:
 

Queenie60

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I agree Missy. I do not approve of the use of animals for our selfish entertainment. I have never taken my children to the circus and only to the zoo one time where my son was very upset that the animals were caged and not allowed to roam free. Thank you for sharing this information.
 

monarch64

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We don't do circuses or zoos. Now, part of the reason is that I dislike crowds of people, but mainly it's because of the way I feel about the treatment and captivity of the animals. Why do circuses still have to involve animals at all? If people want to make themselves the spectacle, hey, go for it. Don't bring innocent animals who want nothing to do with your human shenanigans into it.
 

Bonfire

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I hate the circus! Even as a child. The inprisonment and cruelty of the animals is heartbreaking ;(
 

Rockinruby

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I feel so sad when I see circus elephants. I've never been able to stomach the cruelty they endure for our entertainment. I don't think I've ever been to the circus. Sadly many of these animals may have behavior issues or worse once they get to their new home. I hope they will be treated decently. :(sad

Thanks for sharing! :wavey:
 

missy

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Yeah I hate circuses and always have and never had the desire to go to one even as a little girl. Wish we could put all the animal abusers in cages and make them do stupid demeaning tricks all day and then house them in deplorable conditions. :blackeye:
Just saying an eye for an eye sound pretty good to me as a way to get these people to understand what they are doing to sweet innocent animals. :(sad :(sad :(sad
 

Tuckins1

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I agree with your sentiments! I wish that they would do away with all of the animal acts and just let the animals be animals... It's a step forward, but not nearly close to the end!
 

Polished

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I find I have to focus my efforts on the rescuing of elephants (I sponsor and follow the stories of the elephants in India through Wildlife SOS) as I just find the stories of abuse so distressing. What struck me with this though was that people love to see elephants. Some seemed sad, lamenting that where were they going to see these beautful creatures now that the circus was no longer going to show them. What the elephant sanctuaries have shown though is that people love to see the elephants simply being elephants. Rather than seeing them do tricks, they prefer to be involved preparing food for them, accompanying them on morning walks and knowing they are engaging in activities that are natural to elephants such as swimming and throwing mud over themselves. This kind of interaction with elephants seems a far healthier alternative to circuses.
 

missy

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment Polished, Tuckins, rockinruby, bonfire, Monnie and Queenie.

Polished, that is exactly how I feel.

I focus my efforts where I can because I feel overwhelmed and helpless about so much having to do with the abuse of animals domestic and wild. I sometimes feel as if I cannot breathe when I think too much about it all. So what I do is much like you Polished. I do what I can where I can. Every week we give to local rescue groups and in addition we donate as much as we can to animal organizations we feel make a real difference. Giving to people I know locally and global groups as well is something I just need to do. I donate time when I can but also know my limitations so no longer dream of doing rescue work full time when I retire. But where we can we do and try to make a difference. If everyone took little steps like this for organizations and causes that they are passionate about things would get done. Baby steps add up. And awareness of course is the very first step.


Elephants are such sweet peaceful soulful animals. They deserve to live their lives in quiet, safety and contentment. All animals do but the way the elephants have been treated for so very long is especially heartbreaking.

Thank you to everyone who cares and who is willing to take the time and energy to at least try to make a difference no matter how overwhelming the issues are. (((HUGS))).
 

rainydaze

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My kids and I recently watched "An Apology to Elephants". It was so very sad, and disturbing. I have refused to take the kids to circuses (love Cirque de Soleil - that's the way to do circus!). While I have taken them to zoos, they are the outdoor sanctuary types where the animals roam free in natural habitat setups. One or two were the kind you must stay in your car and drive through, another we took a bus through parts and walked other parts. Still felt conflicted about them, and wonder if they are humane. I recall the keepers talking about taking in animals that were injured, and I think one was dedicated only to animals that were injured and wouldn't survive if released back into the wild. Still, these were in North America, where giraffes, elephants, tigers, etc. don't live! So no matter how nice the setup, it's still depriving them.

Anyway, I am happy to hear this news. In "An Apology" they featured a woman who has set up an elephant sanctuary for 'retired' performance elephants. Hopefully Ringling's elephants end up there. It will take a generation or two for this change to truly be positive for the elephants, but I'm glad that the change has finally happened at all.

A slight digression, have you seen "Blackfish"? Against my better judgement, we went to Sea World with the kids. I was surprised at how touched I was by what I saw there (as in, it was magical when I didn't expect it to be, especially since I wasn't really okay with it), and have since been saddened by how duped I allowed myself to be. The kids often talk about swimming with dolphins and such, and I have always said no and explained why. No idea why I said yes to Sea World. Anyway, after watching "Blackfish" with them (and "An Apology"), we were able to talk about it more and they definitely understand that while it seems amazing to 'commune' with animals, we must recognize that is not in the best interests of the animals and appreciate them from a distance - even if that means just watching them on National Geographic in documentaries that follow wild animals in their homelands. Because when we bring them into our environments and make them let us ride them or do tricks for us or swim with them, we are serving our needs, not theirs, and that is a selfish relationship no matter how nice you are to them while doing it.
 

sonnyjane

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rainydaze|1462278597|4026501 said:
A slight digression, have you seen "Blackfish"? Against my better judgement, we went to Sea World with the kids. I was surprised at how touched I was by what I saw there (as in, it was magical when I didn't expect it to be, especially since I wasn't really okay with it), and have since been saddened by how duped I allowed myself to be. The kids often talk about swimming with dolphins and such, and I have always said no and explained why. No idea why I said yes to Sea World. Anyway, after watching "Blackfish" with them (and "An Apology"), we were able to talk about it more and they definitely understand that while it seems amazing to 'commune' with animals, we must recognize that is not in the best interests of the animals and appreciate them from a distance - even if that means just watching them on National Geographic in documentaries that follow wild animals in their homelands. Because when we bring them into our environments and make them let us ride them or do tricks for us or swim with them, we are serving our needs, not theirs, and that is a selfish relationship no matter how nice you are to them while doing it.
We've had some threads that brought up Blackfish, but I'm not having any luck with a search. There are still plenty of safe (and legal) ways to view and sometimes even interact with wildlife IN THE WILD. I get upset with pro-captivity advocates that argue without zoos and aquariums we'd never see animals again. Go outside - that's where the animals are! Granted, not everyone can go to Africa to see elephants, or Australia to see kangaroos, etc., but a love for wildlife and nature can be nurtured WITHOUT having to bring the animals to us.
 

arkieb1

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Anyone that has ever seen Cirque Du Soleil and others circuses out there can vouch that you can have an amazing and entertaining experience going to a "circus" performance without any animals. If you want to take your kids to see animals go to a good (humane) zoo or better yet go to the country they come from, and see them in the wild. Many of our zoos and marine parks here actually have the animals from retired circuses, zoos/nature parks that have gone broke and other formerly captive animals no one knows what to do with.
 

Gypsy

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I can't do zoos, circuses or anything of the sort. Only REAL refuges. And most of those will NOT have the animals on display for the public, and you can't visit, but you can donate. Which is what I do.

The exploitation of these creatures is heinous. I would end it world wide if I could.

But then, I'd kill all the poachers and hunters of these creatures too. Not real hunters, hunting plentiful game for food, mind you. Those are okay with me, as long as the populations are monitored and the hunting regulated. But the big game hunters and trophy hunters. They'll all drop dead tomorrow if I had a say about it.
 

missy

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Gypsy|1462345246|4027015 said:
I can't do zoos, circuses or anything of the sort. Only REAL refuges. And most of those will NOT have the animals on display for the public, and you can't visit, but you can donate. Which is what I do.

The exploitation of these creatures is heinous. I would end it world wide if I could.

But then, I'd kill all the poachers and hunters of these creatures too. Not real hunters, hunting plentiful game for food, mind you. Those are okay with me, as long as the populations are monitored and the hunting regulated. But the big game hunters and trophy hunters. They'll all drop dead tomorrow if I had a say about it.
Me too. Not even going to be a little bit sorry saying this because this is exactly how I feel. These are bad people hunting for the sport of hunting. Wish they could be the ones that are hunted like that and see how they like it. :nono: :nono: :nono: ;( ;( ;(

Some days the only way I make sense of anything is hoping there really is karma in the world.
 
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