Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 3 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   7 comments

General News

Animal Rights Activists Confront Parents at Ringling Bros. Circus

      (Page 2 of 4 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Supported 3   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 2/24/11

Author 3644
Become a Fan
  (8 fans)
- Advertisement -

Paraphrasing, she stated that when Feld was asked if striking an elephant was necessary, he responded "if that's your word" and acknowledged that the use of a bullhook (which McWethy said is used as a cue and also known as an ankus or guide) was necessary to manage the elephants in an open contact situation and that if "used inappropriately it could scratch an elephant where the elephant would bleed."

Regarding Bessey's mention of elephants spending up to 100 hours in box cars, McWethy corrected her stating, "They're not box cars. They're actually customized stock cars."

"When they travel, the elephants for example, have enough room to lay down, stand up, they are tethered during transportation much like a seat belt for people. That's for their safety."

She went on to say that the cars are equipped with misting systems, food and water with a handler who looks after their needs. She said that depending on the route they sometimes make stops and the animals are exercised.

Activists routinely share the video below that is reported to be a Ringling Bros. Train in San Diego from August 2006.

Also, at odds is the description of the treatment of the baby elephants. Bessey says that they are weaned early and disputes the official Ringling claims regarding training. "They say it's all positive reinforcement, it's all done through observing the baby elephant's natural behavior and incorporating that into a circus act. It actually says that on their website. But, there is so much information, documentation and photographs that directly contradict that."

Says McWethy, "They [protesters] will sometimes say that the elephants are weaned early. That is not true. They are weaned when they're ready to be weaned. The calves and the mothers make that decision." 

- Advertisement -

She described the close bond that the handlers have with the elephants from day one, much like with a family pet, and that the animals live in an environment where all of their needs are met.

"As a business," she said, "it would be foolish and disingenuous for us to be doing anything but take care of these animals. No one wants to see an animal protected that's not healthy, thriving and alert and I think that's something that goes a long way and I think that the people who attended the show in Philadelphia saw that."

"The trial record established," countered Bessey, "that the babies are forcibly taken with ropes, chains, another elephant and six or seven men from their mothers who are chained to the wall, at about 18 months, well before their mother has weaned them."

She added that Gary Jacobsen, the general manager of Ringling's Center for Conservation, testified that they don't let the PR department film the baby training sessions because it "would be hard to defend in the modern world."

"Weaning" said Bessey, "is when an offspring stops nursing. What Ringling does is forced separation."

- Advertisement -

To drive her point home, Bessey directs the uninitiated to a video titled Ringling Bros. - Breaking a Baby Elephant.

In 2009, Ringling Bros. was compelled to respond to an investigation by PETA which culminated in a video showing handlers aggressively striking elephants before entering the ring for a performance.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer with a focus on social justice. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Breaking Camp: Veterans Occupy National Archives Building

Nancy Pelosi Book Signing: Know Your Power, Just Don't Speak Truth to It

Animal Rights Activists Confront Parents at Ringling Bros. Circus

Meet the Protester Who 'May Have Received a Minor Injury' at the Hofstra Debate

Veterans Want YOU for Civil Resistance!

NJ Congressman: Bush Admin. Will 'Gulf of Tonkinize' Iran


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Feb. 24th is a special day for me and your post ad... by Suzana Megles on Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 at 4:39:23 PM
Sadly, until animals are considered more than just... by Bill Cain on Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 at 4:40:04 PM
for exposing the evil done to them in circuses, Ch... by BlessUsAll on Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 at 11:48:17 PM
And it illustrates my usual point: Animal rightste... by GLloyd Rowsey on Friday, Feb 25, 2011 at 6:02:39 AM
As a resident of Florida I live about a hundred mi... by Provoked on Friday, Feb 25, 2011 at 7:34:11 AM
Many people seem to believe that hitting the Giant... by GLloyd Rowsey on Friday, Feb 25, 2011 at 7:39:41 AM
thanks for the feedback everyone. i actually learn... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Feb 25, 2011 at 6:33:22 PM