Betty lives alone at The Arc in Missouri, a pseudo-sanctuary that holds no accreditation from The Association of Sanctuaries. Murray Hill, the owner, is a retired circus trainer who trained, traveled and performed with elephants for decades before he opened up the ARC. His ways to handle elephants are considered being typical of circus standards which means cruel bullhooks and chains combined with punishment, domination and strict discipline.
Betty was brutally taken from her family in Thailand in 1969 and sold to a circus in the United States, and estimated to be between 3 and 4 years. Sadly, she was trained and forced to perform tricks at the circus as well as she had to do hard work like pushing and pulling circus equipment. After years of abuse, Betty ended up at the ARC in 1999. Her pathetic life had traumatized her and was now considered an aggressive elephant since she had previously killed a human. Last year, Betty managed to escape the ARC and went missing for two days. Its obvious that the ARC is incompetent to safely house elephants. PETA filed a formal complaint with the local county prosecutor as a result of this: http://www.peta.org/mc/NewsItem.asp?id=5310
The ARC appears to be unable to keep a safe and secure environment, but has also financial difficulties. In December 2005, they sent out an urgent appeal asking for donations in order to buy food for Betty and to keep her barn heated. Apparently, there was only $300 left in their account. In the same appeal, it stated that Betty would be sent to a zoo or euthanized if the money could not be raised within a week. (Note: Asian elephants are on the endangered list, and it is ILLEGAL to kill them). It costs approx. $1,000 per month to feed one elephant. In addition to this, there are other expenses involved like, veterinary services, maintenance of the facility, sanitary products and other operational expenses.
We, the undersigned, urgently call upon the ARC and its owner to send Betty to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (www.elephants.com)
The Elephant Sanctuary is accredited and is financially stable. Betty would blossom at this sanctuary where she would join other female Asian elephants in the large natural habitat of 2,700 acres. Betty deserves this!