The elephant rides at the North Judson, Indiana Mint Festival are inhumane. It's wrong to make money off of an animal that has no choice in the matter, and is not shown compassion towards it's suffering. It may be fun for the people, but not for the elephant.
To put traumatized, stressed elephants in dangerously close proximity to the public is simply asking for trouble. Since 1990, at least 14 human deaths and 122 injuries in the U.S. have been attributed to elephants. Many of these incidents involved elephants who are used for rides.
The elephant rides are not only cruel for the elephants, but they put people at risk as well. All cities in Orange County, California ban contact between people and elephants due to the risk that the animals may transmit tuberculosis. Also, many zoos have instead adopted a "protected contact" training method that doesn't allow anyone, including zoo employees, to be in the same enclosure as an elephant.
It's time for the North Judson Mint Festival committee to adopt a similar policy. Please sign the petition telling the North Judson Mint Festival committee to ban elephant rides.