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|Originally Posted: 27 March 2011|
Take Action to Help Ailing Elephants Now
Help spare Karen, Nicole, Bonnie, and Minyak from additional suffering by politely urging Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack to immediately seize these ailing elephants before it's too late—foot disorders and arthritis are the leading causes of euthanasia in captive elephants.
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INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
Imagine if you had to walk to work every day while suffering from a debilitating medical condition that caused your joints to ache and your feet to throb. At work, you'd be kept on your feet constantly and forced to perform physical labor for long shifts. You'd be given no chance to recuperate (much less retire), and when you slowed down or balked, your boss would hit you with something resembling a fireplace poker or would stick the pointy end of the instrument under your chin and drag you around. When you weren't working, you would live in chains and wouldn't be given any medication for pain.
That's pretty much what life is like for Karen, Nicole, Bonnie, and Minyak—four elephants who are shunted from town to town by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
According to an independent veterinarian who examined the elephants as well as an elephant expert who observed the elephants as they limped out of boxcars and walked stiffly to the arena while the circus was in Sacramento, these four elephants are suffering from foot disorders and lameness consistent with arthritis—a painful condition that can be made worse by the awkward contortions required to perform circus tricks and by "life" on the road. Yet despite the veterinarian's recommendation that the elephants be excluded from performing certain routines, Ringling continues to force these hurting girls to perform hind-leg stands and other tricks that strain their muscles and joints.
Elephants are meant to move about, roaming for miles over grass and soft terrain and engaging in activities that come naturally to them. They are not meant to stand on urine- and feces-covered cement for hours on end or to be beaten and forced to walk across asphalt streets at circus venues.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!