Veterinarians Found Ringling Bros. Elephant Wounds "Insignificant," Animals Well Cared For

Categories: Grrranimals

See the update at the end of this post on the conclusions of veterinarians who inspected Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants when they were bound for Anaheim.

Ringling-Bros-elephant-abrasions_PETA.jpeg
Courtesy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
A Ringling Bros. elephant with wounds on her side has sparked another PETA complaint.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 4, 10:25 A.M.: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus left Anaheim Sunday but not without a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about a second performing elephant with wounds. But the producer of "The Greatest Show on Earth" says the wounds were inflicted by the animal, not her trainers as PETA surmises.

PETA Calls for USDA Inspection of Ringling Bros. Elephants in Anaheim Due to "Wound"

A photograph and video footage sent to PETA shows Bonnie following other elephants marching near Honda Center with what appears to be a thick, U-shaped scratch and a second straight scratch on the left side of her body. The Norfolk, Virginia-based animal rights organization sees three "abrasions" that may have been caused by a sharp bullhook used in training. Click here for the video.

"The photograph, taken by a passerby, shows an elephant--likely Bonnie--with three long abrasions on her side, prompting PETA to send an urgent request calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct an immediate inspection of the elephants with Ringling's Blue Unit, which is performing in Anaheim through August 3, determine the cause of the abrasions, and ensure that the elephant is receiving proper veterinary care as required by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)," reads a PETA alert.

"Ringling appears to have tried to cover up the wounds with a gray powder called 'Wonder Dust,' which Ringling uses to conceal wounds from bullhooks (weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a sharp metal hook on one end)," adds PETA, which has long called for the prohibition of the devices.

Earlier in the circus' 10-day Anaheim run, PETA sought the same USDA intervention after a photograph surfaced of Sara, another Asian elephant, with what group believed might be a "pressure sore" on the side of her face.

Stephen Payne, spokesman for circus owner Feld Entertainment, tells the Weekly that as far as he knows, the USDA has ignored both of PETA's requests for spot inspections as no representatives of the agency showed up in Anaheim.

Payne, who'd previously explained the photo of Sara showed her with "a temporal gland" that was being treated and not a pressure sore, says Bonnie scratched herself on something, possibly a tree trunk she was playing with, and that she also received care from a veterinarian who travels with the circus.

As Payne had said about the Sara image, the Bonnie shots released by PETA are more examples of the animal rights group trying to "score cheap political points" without regard to the facts, and that the circus has a 144-year history of knowing how to care for elephants while PETA has none. Payne has told the Weekly in the past that Feld Entertainment believes PETA's ultimate goal is to completely shut down a circus that is enjoyed by millions of people.

You do get that sense reading a statement by Delcianna Winders, the PETA Foundation's deputy general counsel:

"PETA's motto says, in part, that 'animals are not ours to use for entertainment,' and the wounds on this elephant's side demonstrate why. We're calling on the authorities to hold Ringling--which has a long history of animal care violations, including deaths from neglect, and has paid the largest fine in circus history for failing to comply with the Animal Welfare Act--accountable and asking families to stay away from this cruel circus."

Click here for other Weekly stories on clashes between PETA and the circus over the years.

UPDATE, AUG. 4, 3:02 P.M.: In light of the recent PETA allegations, the Weekly was forwarded an inspection report on performing elephants done by a consulting veterinarian in Los Angeles in parallel with the city's contracted vet.

The report states: "At all times during my observations, the elephants were calm and responsive to their trainer's directions. No trainers were observed 'raising their voices' or using their ankuses [bull hooks] for anything but guidance while moving the elephants."

The veterinarian found three scrapes on the left side of Bonnie "insignificant," and concluded, "The elephants are well cared for and the trainers and workers are dedicated to their well-being."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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22 comments
diarmuid55
diarmuid55

The veterinarian found three scrapes on the left side of Bonnie "insignificant," and concluded, "The elephants are well cared for and the trainers and workers are dedicated to their well-being."  That's the difference between an animal expert and an organization dedicated to the destruction of the conservation work done by Ringling Bros. The sooner people wake up to PETA the better, for the animals.  

nflsouthpaws
nflsouthpaws

This is how PETA porn is born.

PETA will digitally enhance the wounds then encourage their fan base of animal abuse worshippers and death fetishists to spread the pix around along with graphic mental and verbal fantasies of cruelty, violence and brutality.

Producing animal abuse porn is PETA's primary business.

gm0622
gm0622 topcommenter

PETA

people eating tasty animals. preferably cooked at low temperatures using mesquite wood.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

I personally saw these wounds on this elephant while she was at the honda center in Anaheim and I just cannot understand why she would scrape herself so hard then continue to do it twice more!?  Also would'nt it make more sense for her wounds to be horizontal instead of vertical if she "rubbed against something?"  If these animals are being watched so closely the people of ringling should know exactly what that something is that she rubbed against!  This particular elephant named bonnie made news headlines in 1982 when she became startled and ran through a wall during a rehearsal,now what could make an elephant run through a wall?  Hmmmm maybe a bullhook wielding trainer!  Oh and yes I did say 1982! This poor elephant has been a slave to the circus world and an object to abuse for longer than my lifetime!!  It is standard training methods to use a bullhook and to use it with a lot of force to make these animals obey, and when these animals "listen" so well to their trainers well of course you would to if someone beat the shit out of you and then constantly carried that object with them. http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com  you will find undeniable evidence of ringlings abuse of their elephants, these beautiful animals are being beaten while they wear their ringling brothers costumes YOU CANNOT DENY THIS VIDEO EVIDENCE!  Even if we could end the abuse that happens in the circus these animals do not belong as entertainment they belong in the wild.    


HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS IN THE CIRCUS :) ENJOY.  




Elephant Life in U.S. Circuses

While we all enjoy the glitz, glitter and acrobatics of the circus, few of us think of what circus life means to the animals.
Elephants, tigers, bears, camels, zebras and other animals spend their lives on the road virtually year round, shuffled from parking lot to parking lot, locked in tiny cages and on train cars or trucks for days at a time. They are trained with physical punishment: bullhooks, whips, electrical prods and other devices are routinely used to inflict pain and fear to force the elephants, tigers and other animals to perform.

The plight of elephants in circuses is particularly troubling. Elephants are majestic creatures who are intelligent and self-aware. They are among the most socially- bonded animals on the planet, and display a complex array of emotions, including expressions of grief and compassion. They mourn their dead, use tools, and communicate with each other over vast distances through sound. They are biologically designed to browse, constantly on the move for 18 or more hours out of the day, even where food is readily available.

Elephants in circuses lead miserable lives.

Enslaved in circuses, far removed from conditions they need to thrive, elephants:

  • Spend days at a time chained in cramped train cars or trucks, eating and sleeping in their own excrement, exposed to temperature extremes, for much of their lives. When not in transit, they are chained or confined in tiny pens, usually on concrete.
  • Perform unnatural tricks that are often damaging to their bodies. Wild elephants do not stand on their heads or on two legs.
  • Often display neurotic behavior, such as swaying and head-bobbing, from boredom and severe stress.
  • Suffer from painful foot and joint disease, a leading cause of premature death in captive elephants, from standing too long on hard surfaces and in their own waste.
  • Frequently contract or are exposed to a human strain of tuberculosis (TB). TB is known to thrive in the cramped, close quarters that they are forced to endure day in and day out. In several instances, elephants known to be suffering from TB have been used to give rides to the public.

Circuses tear families apart

Elephants have intense family bonds. Wild females stay with their mothers, aunts and cousins for life. Males do not leave the herd until their teens. The entire extended elephant family helps nurture and care for the young.

Most of the elephants performing in circuses today were captured from the wild, violently separated from their mothers, and shipped to the U.S. when they were very young. Every Asian elephant taken from the wild has endured a brutal breaking process (“the crush”), which involves beatings with nail-studded sticks, sleep-deprivation, hunger, and thirst to break the animals’ spirits. Elephants born into captivity in circuses are routinely torn from their mothers as infants younger than two years old, for training and performance.

Circuses do not promote conservation

The population of Asian elephants is highly endangered, with few remaining in the wild today. African elephants are also threatened. Wild elephants are victims of habitat loss and illegal poaching, and are killed as a result of human-elephant conflicts in their ever-dwindling home ranges.

The circus is a consumer rather than conserver of elephants. The brutality of circus life kills elephants so quickly that the death rate exceeds the birth rate.
No baby elephant born to a circus will ever be returned to the wild. The few captive breeding programs that exist in circuses are all about replenishing the supply of tormented performers who will die prematurely as the result of their treatment and living conditions.

A life of heartbreak

For anyone who knows how elephants are meant to live and act, seeing these complex, family-centered individuals chained and broken, and performing demeaning tricks, is simply heartbreaking, so imagine how the elephants themselves feel.


downtownscoot
downtownscoot

Feeding, water and cleaning wounds is protecting an investment. Maintaining the mental well being of an animal by keeping it caged constantly or stuffing it in a train for half a day at a time just to be stuffed in another cage after arrival at the next show destination is not the circumstance of a "well cared for" animal.

emilyanncr
emilyanncr

Sounds like another load of crap.  Makes no sense. If they are being so well cared for then what's up with the scars?  Are all these people idiots or something?

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

All's well that ends well, I suppose. It doesn't change my negative view of circuses and the like, however.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

@diarmuid55 HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS IN THE CIRCUS :) ENJOY.  




Elephant Life in U.S. Circuses

While we all enjoy the glitz, glitter and acrobatics of the circus, few of us think of what circus life means to the animals.
Elephants, tigers, bears, camels, zebras and other animals spend their lives on the road virtually year round, shuffled from parking lot to parking lot, locked in tiny cages and on train cars or trucks for days at a time. They are trained with physical punishment: bullhooks, whips, electrical prods and other devices are routinely used to inflict pain and fear to force the elephants, tigers and other animals to perform.

The plight of elephants in circuses is particularly troubling. Elephants are majestic creatures who are intelligent and self-aware. They are among the most socially- bonded animals on the planet, and display a complex array of emotions, including expressions of grief and compassion. They mourn their dead, use tools, and communicate with each other over vast distances through sound. They are biologically designed to browse, constantly on the move for 18 or more hours out of the day, even where food is readily available.

Elephants in circuses lead miserable lives.

Enslaved in circuses, far removed from conditions they need to thrive, elephants:

  • Spend days at a time chained in cramped train cars or trucks, eating and sleeping in their own excrement, exposed to temperature extremes, for much of their lives. When not in transit, they are chained or confined in tiny pens, usually on concrete.
  • Perform unnatural tricks that are often damaging to their bodies. Wild elephants do not stand on their heads or on two legs.
  • Often display neurotic behavior, such as swaying and head-bobbing, from boredom and severe stress.
  • Suffer from painful foot and joint disease, a leading cause of premature death in captive elephants, from standing too long on hard surfaces and in their own waste.
  • Frequently contract or are exposed to a human strain of tuberculosis (TB). TB is known to thrive in the cramped, close quarters that they are forced to endure day in and day out. In several instances, elephants known to be suffering from TB have been used to give rides to the public.

Circuses tear families apart

Elephants have intense family bonds. Wild females stay with their mothers, aunts and cousins for life. Males do not leave the herd until their teens. The entire extended elephant family helps nurture and care for the young.

Most of the elephants performing in circuses today were captured from the wild, violently separated from their mothers, and shipped to the U.S. when they were very young. Every Asian elephant taken from the wild has endured a brutal breaking process (“the crush”), which involves beatings with nail-studded sticks, sleep-deprivation, hunger, and thirst to break the animals’ spirits. Elephants born into captivity in circuses are routinely torn from their mothers as infants younger than two years old, for training and performance.

Circuses do not promote conservation

The population of Asian elephants is highly endangered, with few remaining in the wild today. African elephants are also threatened. Wild elephants are victims of habitat loss and illegal poaching, and are killed as a result of human-elephant conflicts in their ever-dwindling home ranges.

The circus is a consumer rather than conserver of elephants. The brutality of circus life kills elephants so quickly that the death rate exceeds the birth rate.
No baby elephant born to a circus will ever be returned to the wild. The few captive breeding programs that exist in circuses are all about replenishing the supply of tormented performers who will die prematurely as the result of their treatment and living conditions.

A life of heartbreak

For anyone who knows how elephants are meant to live and act, seeing these complex, family-centered individuals chained and broken, and performing demeaning tricks, is simply heartbreaking, so imagine how the elephants themselves feel.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

If ringling was doing conservation of the asian elephant species they would be breeding them in hopes of releasing them back into the wild,but ringling does not do this! They breed and train in harsh ways to make money off these animals. And furthermore 30 elephants have died under ringlings care since 1991. And those are just the ones that have been reported. Like I said PLEASE do your research on this company.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

Ringlingbeatsanimals.com undeniable video evidence. Please do not dismiss these animals suffering they truely deserve better than a life of performing,traveling and being chained and PLEASE do more research before defending ringling bros.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

@nflsouthpaws HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS IN THE CIRCUS :) ENJOY.  




Elephant Life in U.S. Circuses

While we all enjoy the glitz, glitter and acrobatics of the circus, few of us think of what circus life means to the animals.
Elephants, tigers, bears, camels, zebras and other animals spend their lives on the road virtually year round, shuffled from parking lot to parking lot, locked in tiny cages and on train cars or trucks for days at a time. They are trained with physical punishment: bullhooks, whips, electrical prods and other devices are routinely used to inflict pain and fear to force the elephants, tigers and other animals to perform.

The plight of elephants in circuses is particularly troubling. Elephants are majestic creatures who are intelligent and self-aware. They are among the most socially- bonded animals on the planet, and display a complex array of emotions, including expressions of grief and compassion. They mourn their dead, use tools, and communicate with each other over vast distances through sound. They are biologically designed to browse, constantly on the move for 18 or more hours out of the day, even where food is readily available.

Elephants in circuses lead miserable lives.

Enslaved in circuses, far removed from conditions they need to thrive, elephants:

  • Spend days at a time chained in cramped train cars or trucks, eating and sleeping in their own excrement, exposed to temperature extremes, for much of their lives. When not in transit, they are chained or confined in tiny pens, usually on concrete.
  • Perform unnatural tricks that are often damaging to their bodies. Wild elephants do not stand on their heads or on two legs.
  • Often display neurotic behavior, such as swaying and head-bobbing, from boredom and severe stress.
  • Suffer from painful foot and joint disease, a leading cause of premature death in captive elephants, from standing too long on hard surfaces and in their own waste.
  • Frequently contract or are exposed to a human strain of tuberculosis (TB). TB is known to thrive in the cramped, close quarters that they are forced to endure day in and day out. In several instances, elephants known to be suffering from TB have been used to give rides to the public.

Circuses tear families apart

Elephants have intense family bonds. Wild females stay with their mothers, aunts and cousins for life. Males do not leave the herd until their teens. The entire extended elephant family helps nurture and care for the young.

Most of the elephants performing in circuses today were captured from the wild, violently separated from their mothers, and shipped to the U.S. when they were very young. Every Asian elephant taken from the wild has endured a brutal breaking process (“the crush”), which involves beatings with nail-studded sticks, sleep-deprivation, hunger, and thirst to break the animals’ spirits. Elephants born into captivity in circuses are routinely torn from their mothers as infants younger than two years old, for training and performance.

Circuses do not promote conservation

The population of Asian elephants is highly endangered, with few remaining in the wild today. African elephants are also threatened. Wild elephants are victims of habitat loss and illegal poaching, and are killed as a result of human-elephant conflicts in their ever-dwindling home ranges.

The circus is a consumer rather than conserver of elephants. The brutality of circus life kills elephants so quickly that the death rate exceeds the birth rate.
No baby elephant born to a circus will ever be returned to the wild. The few captive breeding programs that exist in circuses are all about replenishing the supply of tormented performers who will die prematurely as the result of their treatment and living conditions.

A life of heartbreak

For anyone who knows how elephants are meant to live and act, seeing these complex, family-centered individuals chained and broken, and performing demeaning tricks, is simply heartbreaking, so imagine how the elephants themselves feel.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

I personally took these photos and video and I can assure you there was no enhancing of these photos. Please visit ringlingbeatsanimals.com for undeniable video evidence. And please stand up for the animals they are voiceless and we must speak for them.

blphillips1
blphillips1

Makes no sense?  You obviously know very little about animals and are incredibly naive if you seriously think the only way an animal gets a scar is through some sort of abuse.  

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle

peta never seems to get it right.  I'd have more respect for them if jail-broke the elephants instead of just slinging monkey shit all the time.

ptgcp
ptgcp

@anythingsweet77    I find it amazing that you hide behind an alias (anythingsweet77) in your very hurtful remarks about people that I know.  You speak of compassion for animals and have no compassion for people.  You spew hatred and animal rights propaganda that has been many times disproven in courts of law.  You want those who disagree with your point of view to "do more research" and refer them to propaganda sites that you prefer.  You speak of "facts" and show only your own special set of "facts". When/why did you drink the animal rights kool aid?  Did your parents not take you to the circus?  Did they not buy you a pet, so you want to take away everyone elses animals too?  Do you not realize they intend to remove pets from our lives also?  Are you Vegan?  Are you for bullying in our schools, or just bullying of circus people you've never met?  Do you think you are better than the vet who tends to this elephant? Who did this to you?   I don't see one original thought in your many paragraphs of horrid remarks, lies, and propaganda....  You only regurgitate the animal rights rhetoric right from their palybook....and they're laughing all the way to the bank as you do their dirtiest of dirty work.  PS:  I do not know, nor have I ever worked for a circus.  Do not respond unless you are willing to use a real name.  You feel so strongly that I am sure you will not mind.  

blphillips1
blphillips1

Because nobody knows more about animal care than people who have never cared for animals, right?

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

@blphillips1 HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS IN THE CIRCUS :) ENJOY.  




Elephant Life in U.S. Circuses

While we all enjoy the glitz, glitter and acrobatics of the circus, few of us think of what circus life means to the animals.
Elephants, tigers, bears, camels, zebras and other animals spend their lives on the road virtually year round, shuffled from parking lot to parking lot, locked in tiny cages and on train cars or trucks for days at a time. They are trained with physical punishment: bullhooks, whips, electrical prods and other devices are routinely used to inflict pain and fear to force the elephants, tigers and other animals to perform.

The plight of elephants in circuses is particularly troubling. Elephants are majestic creatures who are intelligent and self-aware. They are among the most socially- bonded animals on the planet, and display a complex array of emotions, including expressions of grief and compassion. They mourn their dead, use tools, and communicate with each other over vast distances through sound. They are biologically designed to browse, constantly on the move for 18 or more hours out of the day, even where food is readily available.

Elephants in circuses lead miserable lives.

Enslaved in circuses, far removed from conditions they need to thrive, elephants:

  • Spend days at a time chained in cramped train cars or trucks, eating and sleeping in their own excrement, exposed to temperature extremes, for much of their lives. When not in transit, they are chained or confined in tiny pens, usually on concrete.
  • Perform unnatural tricks that are often damaging to their bodies. Wild elephants do not stand on their heads or on two legs.
  • Often display neurotic behavior, such as swaying and head-bobbing, from boredom and severe stress.
  • Suffer from painful foot and joint disease, a leading cause of premature death in captive elephants, from standing too long on hard surfaces and in their own waste.
  • Frequently contract or are exposed to a human strain of tuberculosis (TB). TB is known to thrive in the cramped, close quarters that they are forced to endure day in and day out. In several instances, elephants known to be suffering from TB have been used to give rides to the public.

Circuses tear families apart

Elephants have intense family bonds. Wild females stay with their mothers, aunts and cousins for life. Males do not leave the herd until their teens. The entire extended elephant family helps nurture and care for the young.

Most of the elephants performing in circuses today were captured from the wild, violently separated from their mothers, and shipped to the U.S. when they were very young. Every Asian elephant taken from the wild has endured a brutal breaking process (“the crush”), which involves beatings with nail-studded sticks, sleep-deprivation, hunger, and thirst to break the animals’ spirits. Elephants born into captivity in circuses are routinely torn from their mothers as infants younger than two years old, for training and performance.

Circuses do not promote conservation

The population of Asian elephants is highly endangered, with few remaining in the wild today. African elephants are also threatened. Wild elephants are victims of habitat loss and illegal poaching, and are killed as a result of human-elephant conflicts in their ever-dwindling home ranges.

The circus is a consumer rather than conserver of elephants. The brutality of circus life kills elephants so quickly that the death rate exceeds the birth rate.
No baby elephant born to a circus will ever be returned to the wild. The few captive breeding programs that exist in circuses are all about replenishing the supply of tormented performers who will die prematurely as the result of their treatment and living conditions.

A life of heartbreak

For anyone who knows how elephants are meant to live and act, seeing these complex, family-centered individuals chained and broken, and performing demeaning tricks, is simply heartbreaking, so imagine how the elephants themselves feel.

anythingsweet77
anythingsweet77

@blphillips1  The animals need us they cannot speak. PLEASE visit ringlingbeatsanimals.com for undeniable  video evidence.

blphillips1
blphillips1

OK.  You know how to cut and paste.  That's a good skill.  Unfortunately, I've actually checked your "facts" and they don't stand up in the harsh light of reality.  There is so much that is so blatantly false that I can do nothing but laugh.  I'd like to meet the trainer who can make an elephant do tricks by beating it.  It's obvious you've never spent any time around elephants or you would know that it wouldn't take long for that trainer to get knocked on his arse and stepped on.  Your naive notions about animals would be amusing if you and your fellow animal rights terrorists weren't such a danger to yourselves, to others and especially the animals you claim to care so much about. Just thinking you're an animal expert doesn't make it so.  Watching PETA videos makes you an animal expert in the same way watching House makes you a surgeon.  Not one of you has ever had hands-on experience with these animals so why would I trust you as an expert on animal care?  I think I'll let the USDA inspection reports, the court rulings, the laws and treaties that govern animal care...all of which I've actually read and understand...along my personal experience with animals and LEGITIMATE animal experts form my opinions on the subject.  Come back and talk to us when you actually have something to say about the topic at hand.  

blphillips1
blphillips1

You'll forgive me if I believe my own eyes and 40 years of personal experience over a handful of videos.  And animals CAN speak.  They do it all the time and if they're unhappy, humans don't generally fare well when they do.  I'm still waiting to meet the guy who can make an 8,000 pound animal do what he wants by beating it.  So I think you're suffering from delusions of grandeur if you actually think the animals need you.    

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