The Orange County Fair, the Los Angeles County Fair and the Santa Ana Zoo have all discontinued elephant rides at their facilities after viewing this video which shows elephants, one is a baby, being beat and electrocuted during their care and training at Have Trunk Will Travel in Perris, California. Although the San Diego County Fair Board of Directors has also seen the video, they have refused to discontinue the elephant rides.
Have Trunk Will Travel is owned by Gary and Kari Johnson. They currently have 5 Asian female elephants: Rosie, Tai, Dixie, Becky and Kitty. All were born in the wild between 1965 and 1985, stolen from their families and sold into entertainment. The capture and subsequent breaking of the elephants is another sad and brutal story and another reason why the elephants should not be used for entertainment. The baby elephant shown in the video died at their facility.
The Johnson's train their elephants using pain and punishment in order to keep them submissive and compliant. This is necessary because at any moment the elephants could kill them or anyone in the public. Additionally, this type of training is used to force the elephants to perform very unnatural acts, acts you would never see in the wild, for circuses, parades, and fairs around the country. The elephants are also chained in a barn 12 hours a day at the Have Trunk Will Travel facility and that does not include the time they are chained when they are transported to venues to perform.
The Board has not yet renewed their contract with Have Trunk Will Travel for the 2014 fair and we are asking people to show their support for the elephants by letting the Board know that supporting cruelty to animals for money is unethical and sends the wrong message to children (they are the ones who primarily ride the elephants) that elephants are here for our entertainment, rather than one of respect, that elephants should be living in the wild with their families.
Dear San Diego County Fair Board of Directors,
Attached are 1000 signatures from people around the world asking that you join the Orange County Fair, the Los Angeles County Fair and the Santa Ana Zoo who have all discontinued the elephant rides at their facilities after viewing the Animal Defenders International video showing the elephants, including one baby, being beat and electrocuted during training and care at Have Trunk Will Travel in Perris, California. Please make the compassionate decision to end these cruel and barbaric rides and take a stance against animal cruelty for profit.
Thank you, Britta Wilson