Ringling Bros. finally announced plans to phase out elephant performances by 2018. Executive vice president Alana Feld cites customer concern as the reason: "There's been somewhat of a mood shift among our customers," she said, "A lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants.
People are right to be uncomfortable with the treatment elephants endure in circuses. The intelligent, social, active animals are kept in tight boxcars and often neglected. Many of Ringling's elephants are arthritic and suffer from tuberculosis, and where the practice is still legal, trainers continue to use painful pokers, called bullhooks, to control their animals. Several young elephants have died during Ringling performances, including a baby elephant named Riccardo who fractured his legs on a circus pedestal and was then destroyed.
Three years is too long for Ringling's current elephant performers to be separated from their natural social life and activity, and to be subject to circus abuse. Please sign the petition to urge Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to transfer their elephants to respected sanctuaries as soon as possible!
We, the undersigned, consider it a victory that Ringling Bros. announced plans to phase out elephant performances by 2018. We understand that customer concern with elephant treatment was a main factor in your decision. We believe you should phase out elephants even earlier for the sake of the animals and to increase your customer satisfaction.
Three years is too long for Ringling's current elephant performers to be separated from their natural social life and activity, and to be forced to perform unnatural and unhealthy tricks. We urge you to transfer your elephants to respected sanctuaries as soon as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our petition.