Welfare Society (PAWS)
Take action now to help protect the elephants and the families and children who will pack the street during the Los Angeles Children's Fair on April 12.
1. Please send a polite email to the Curacao Children's Foundation,
urging them to reconsider the elephant rides. (A sample message is provided
below.) Please personalize your message to make it even more effective.
Copy your email to event sponsor
Univision: Monica Talan, Executive VP, Corporate Communications and Public firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Follow up with a phone call to the event planner
3. Leave a comment on Curacao's Facebook page.
A concerned animal welfare advocate has informed PAWS that the Curacao
Department Store in Los Angeles, through its Curacao Children's Foundation,
is presenting La Feria de los Niņos, a children's street fair, on Saturday,
April 12. The fair will feature elephant rides. Based on an ad for the
event, Have Trunk Will Travel appears to be providing the rides.
PAWS called the event's organizer and has written to the Curacao Children's Foundation, with no response. We have even offered to help with ideas for replacing the elephant rides with another attraction that would be fun and educational for children attending the event. Included with our letter was a statement signed by prominent elephant experts and conservationists around the world who oppose elephant rides - see PDF.
Elephant rides put the elephants and the public at risk!
Little more than a week ago, three elephants used for rides escaped from a circus in Missouri, running uncontrolled in a parking lot for about 45 minutes, damaging several vehicles. Miraculously, no one was injured. The elephants reportedly were spooked by loud sounds from circus-goers. Imagine elephant rides on the streets of Los Angeles and the chances for loud noises and panicked elephants. This is an accident waiting to happen.
All elephant handlers giving rides carry and use a bullhook - the spike-tipped weapon resembling a fireplace poker that is used to prod, hook and strike elephants and force them to obey commands. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously last year to ban the use of the bullhook on elephants because it is inhumane. However, the ban does not go into effect until 2016.
To Whom It May Concern:
Please reconsider the elephant rides planned for La Feria de los Niņos on April 12, 2014. Elephant rides are inhumane for elephants and unsafe for the children and families who will be attending your event.
Elephants used for rides are prodded, hooked and beaten with a weapon called a bullhook - a rod resembling a fireplace poker with a steel point and hook at the end - that will soon be illegal to use on elephants in Los Angeles. Last year the City Council voted unanimously to prohibit the use of bullhooks on elephants because these devices are inhumane.
It does a disservice to the community and its children to promote "entertainment" that is steeped in animal cruelty and sends the wrong message about the Earth's endangered species. Reducing elephants to the equivalent of a carnival ride only distorts the public's understanding of elephants and their endangered status in the wild.
I urge you to do the right thing for children and families attending your well-intentioned event, and for the elephants, by making the decision to abandon the elephant rides.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!
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