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Animal Abuse Is Not Entertainment

Updated on July 26, 2015

Stop Circus Elephant Abuse

Have you ever stopped to wonder what life must be like for an elephant in a circus? Have you ever though of what it takes to train an elephant to perform the unnatural tasks asked of it in a typical circus act?

This page will show you what's really going on under the Big Top. All money made from this page will be donated to charity in order to help end the suffering and abuse of these amazing, intelligent, sensitive and thoughtful creatures.

As an animal lover, It was very difficult and heartbreaking for me to make this page. I was so saddened by what I saw, the reports, the videos, the images. This page may be disturbing to read and see, but the truth needs to be told. The word needs to be spread. Change needs to take place. Circuses are far from the friendly and happy place they claim to be. As long as animals remain in circus acts, I will never attend and neither will my children.

How It All Begins

The plight of the baby elephant

While circuses such as Ringling Brothers may claim to train their elephants through a reward system, know that that is an outright lie.

A baby elephant born to the circus is first captured by lassoing all four legs rodeo style and dragged away from its mother, often before it is two years of age. Supression and discipline is now the name of the game. To start, the baby elephant is chained by all four legs to a concrete floor for up to 22 ½ hours a day to break their spirits. This is physically and psychologically traumitizing for the animals. After they stop struggling and give up, (sometimes this takes as long as 6 months), they are introduced to the bullhook while being led around a small area by the neck.

The elephant bullhook has been used for centuries in elephant handling. It consists of a large sharp spike with a hook coming off of one side. The hook allows the keeper to assert his commands over the elephant. "Training techniques used by Gary Jacobson, (trainer at Ringling Brothers,) include a lot of brute force, manpower, electricity and savage disposition" - Sam Haddock. "Sink that hook into 'em. When you hear that screaming, then you know you got their attention." Trainer Tim Frisco a Carson & Barnes elephant trainer, who learned the trade from his father, a former trainer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus instructs.

This photo comes from this very informative site:Ringling Beats Animals. Please visit today.

The Unnatural Acts

Ringling Brothers falsley claims that performances are based on what the animals naturally do during plany and socialization. This if far from true. Elephants do not normally sit up on their hind legs, this is unnatural and uncomforatble for them. Nor do they stand in two or even one armed handstands or on their heads. In order to get elephants to perform these well received tricks, hundreds of hours are spent with the bullhook.

The baby elephant screams continuously in agony and pain the entire time the training process takes place.

This photo comes from this very informative site:Ringling Beats Animals. Please visit today.

The 11 elephants used in the show this video came from-most of whom were captured in the wilds of Asia as early as 1957 and some of whom have spent more than 40 years with the circus-suffer month after month at the hands of Ringling and its crew. PETA documented workers as they struck elephants and tigers on the head, face, ears, trunk, legs, and other parts of their bodies with bullhooks and other abusive handling tools. The unit's animal superintendant and head elephant trainer were among those who used bullhooks-sharp, fireplace pokerlike devices-to hook and yank elephants by their sensitive skin, as can be seen in this undercover video

"Hooking, hitting. I saw elephants hit. I saw elephants bleed. I saw what I call systematic daily abuse," -barn keeper Tom Rider, who worked for the circus from 1997 to 1999

Animal Confinement

Possibly even worse than the beating the elephants endure is the confinement. Elephants normally roam in large social groups for up to 50 miles a day. In circuses they are often kept in spaces no bigger than a standard studio apartment and in many cases, they are chained in spaces the size of an automobile by two legs, for up to 20 hours a day. Some are even kept in trucks.

This obviously has psychological and physical effects on the animals.

Another excellent blog where you can learn and read more and where this photo came from is Say No To Circus Abuse

They Admit This Is True

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus were just taken to court for their unethical and inhumane treatment of elephants but sadly the case was just dismissed (Dec.30, 2009) on a legal technicality. They will most likely try to spin this verdict as their victory, but it is by no means a vindication of their brutal training and management practices.

During the trial, Ringling Brothers employees and even CEO Kenneth Feld stated under oath and in sworn documentation that: the elephants are routinely hit with bullhooks, they are regularly chained in box cars for more than 26 hours at a time and for as long as 100 hours without a break while traveling across the country for 11 months of the year, and for as much as 22½ hours each day in Ringling's breeding center. Baby elephants are forcibly separated from their mothers for training at age two or younger.

This photo comes from another excellent blog which discusses not only elephant abuse, but how desperate elephants trying to escape sometimes break free and may cause harm people. Circus Animals Abused And Dangerous

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

This is truly one of the best, most heartwarming books I have ever read. It is a true story that spans a lifetime about a boy and his elephant. Reading this will change what you think you know about elephants, it will have you on the edge of your seat, it will make you smile and it will make you cry.


End The Suffering

Elephants are an endangered species. In Africa, there were once millions of elephants who roamed the entire continent. Now they are found in only sub-Sahara Africa and their numbers are around 300,000. The Asian elephant is even more critically endangered. Its numbers are down to only about 30,000.

It is hard to imagine that anyone could condone the cruelty elephants suffer at the hands of circus trainers. However, people continue to embrace the circus -especially Ringling Brothers. There is often a disconnect between what people say they believe about animals and how they act when it comes to animals. Most humans claim to take animals' interests seriously but in practice continue to ignore them for trivial reasons.

It's just something to think about and reflect upon.

This heartbreaking picture shows a sad and very abused elephant who has spent her entire life in the circus.

"I can tell you that they live in confinement and they are beaten all the time when they don't perform properly"- Rider.

Spread The Word

Make a difference

Certainly we should applaud the human circus performers who do truly amazing feats, train and work so very hard and skillfully at their artistry. But now, isn't it time that we follow in the footsteps of Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland and Singapore and ban or at least seriously restrict the use of animals in entertainment? Parents planning a family trip to the circus don't know about the violent training sessions these animals face with ropes, bullhooks and electric shock prods. Now you know. Now perhaps you can help spread the word or make a difference in some small way.

Learn More About Elephants

All proceeds are donated to charity to help elephants.

In the circus, elephants die prematurely from disease and the stress of confinement, for what?

Thanks For Visiting - I would love to hear your comments

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    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

      Thanks for stepping up and making this great lens, animal abuse is the most terrible thing, people have to realize it is wrong.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I went to the store today. When i hit the fruits i thought how great the peaches would taste.All of a sudden,

      uncontroably i burst into tears. I couldn't get the images of those poor elephants out of my mind.They probly never get treats, feel a gentle touch or a soft word.WE NEED TO GET THEM OUT OF THERE.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Who in this fricken world would do such a thing they need to just grow up and get a life god created animals for a reason. to be free not to be abused and confined

    • ChloeMartin LM profile image

      ChloeMartin LM 5 years ago

      Oh my gosh! I never knew it was this bad! Poor creatures, they are so beautiful as well! I am ashamed to be a part of the Human society!! Discusting behaviour from those humans!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      animal ambuse is horrible. were all animal, these animals are being tortured. just like people were being tortured in slavery. if slavery was stopped why can't animal abuse be stopped?. STOP ANIMAL ABUSE.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this is so horrible, how would you like to be stabbed 22 hours a day and very little food? this is truly animal abuse. these people who hurt there elephants who are so sensitive that the are afraid of the smallest mouse, should be put in jail

    • GiaDoberman profile image

      GiaDoberman 5 years ago

      I'm a million percent against animal abuse. I've witnessed abuse to animals when I worked for the circus a long time ago. Things aren't glitz and glamour backstage as they seem to be onstage. I wish to see the circus banned

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish I could do something to help stop this needless abuse and mistreatment of elephants and other circus animals.

      If there are any petitions I could sign, please email them to me at

      THank you

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      I'm appalled that people inflict so much pain on animals. Thank you for publishing a lens on this important topic.

    • profile image

      Arnolda 5 years ago

      thanks for writing this. I agree with James It should be banned forever.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      IS SHOULD BE BAND FOR EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thrinsdream profile image

      Thrinsdream 6 years ago

      Well reported. Thumbs up. I cannot abide circus's or anything kept in a cage for that matter. Good one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      this is terrible. I love elephants. They're like the best thing ever. I think I'm going to cry.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have just come back from spending time at a conservation centre for elephants. You might like to read I love elephants to see the work they are doing

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I hate seeing animal being hurt....

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 6 years ago

      Totally horrific. How humans are capable of such things beggars belief.

    • profile image

      GiselleToner 6 years ago

      This is really shocking. I never thought about how they trained animals in such places. That is really cruel and I thank you for highlighting this important issue.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I stopped going to circus's years ago because I only felt sadness even when I went as a child but didn't know why at a young age i felt that way. After learning how the animals were treated, I realized I must have at some level felt their pain and suffering. With the amount of people still attending, it goes to prove just how many have NO IDEA what these beautiful creatures suffer through on a daily basis. It barbaric horrific inhumane and needs to stop.

    • profile image

      gherishjhoven 6 years ago

      I hate seeing animal being hurt like that. Like humans they deserve a peaceful living. They deserve to be punish for such unlawful act for the animals. That's terrible.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: It made me sick too and it doesn't matter about the graphic image im sure after seeing that video would make everyone want to hit and whip and stab them too

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love elephants! Yay!

    • profile image

      I001l01I02l 7 years ago

      i would go to a circus and snoop around a little, if only paying an entrance ticket so as i would not get caught will not add more money into dirty hands.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      That circus video made me sick.

      I so badly want to stab those workers' eyes and hit them with a whip.

      Sorry about the graphic image, I just feel so so so so strongly about animal abuse.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      The only way I can help these elephants are through prayer. I know that when Jesus comes back and the Tribulation starts, he will free all animals from abuse.

    • Judy Goldsberry profile image

      Judy Goldsberry 7 years ago

      I hate animals being out of their natural environment - a cruelty in itself, but to inflict additional cruelty. . . . .

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      i can barely stand to read about this cruelty. It has to be stopped. Thanks for helping spread the word.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a great lens spreading the truth about animal abuse. It's great to see that you're spreading the word through your lens. Well done and written lens!

    • HealthBug LM profile image

      HealthBug LM 7 years ago

      A beautiful thought provoking lens. I was aware that animals are not treated well in circus but I never knew that it was so harsh. Thanks for spreading this message.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 7 years ago

      Give me The Cirque du Soleil every time

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      I just found your lens after finishing a lens on my mom who used to ride Modoc in the RBBB circus. My friend who donates 10's of thousand's of dollars on an Elephant sanctuary down south, made me aware of Elephant abuse. Coincidentally I had visited Baraboo WI. when I ran across elephants chained to stakes, even the very small ones in such distress, it ruined my day, and since that time I'm not a fan of circus elephants...actually I am against any wild animal act now....5*great lens and a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      Thank you for such a thoughtful lens. It makes me ill just thinking about the abuse humans inflict on animals. Thank you also for supporting Wildlife SOS which is a great humanitarian organization. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Me too, I have a special place for elephants in my heart. do you know the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee? I think they're doing good work, offering a new life to captive elephants who previously had extremely restricted living conditions. Their url is

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      OMG i didn't knew the elephants were facing such harsh conditions in the circus.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 8 years ago from Montana

      Waaa, just too sad. Mexico has a lot of circuses and the abuse to the animals is even worse then in countries that have strong animal rights organizations. I dream of sneaking in and letting all the animals go at night...


    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      This is so sad. thanks for creating this page!

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 8 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)