Animal Defenders of Westchester

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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Why not tell truth about Ringling Bros.?

(Original publication: April 9, 2004)

I see that Ringling Bros. Circus doesn't have to bother paying for ads; just invite local politicians to be guest "ringmaster" and the paper gives the circus a nice blurb with a photograph attached. (Journal News, April 6).

Too bad you didn't print a photo of Ringling's training procedures - oops, you couldn't - Ringling won't allow cameras to film "training," as reported by "Dateline." I wonder why not.

Too bad Brewster Mayor John Cesar wasn't photographed with Asian elephant King Tusk - oops, couldn't, King Tusk was just euthanized due to arthritis, which, along with captivity- induced foot problems, is the leading reason for euthanasia of captive elephants.

Too bad you didn't have a picture of Mastercard renewing its Ringling sponsorship - oops, couldn't; Mastercard has decided not to renew its Ringling sponsorship. I was one of the people who canceled my Mastercard over its Ringling sponsorship.

Too bad you didn't run a picture of Ringling being fined recently for such things as failure to provide adequate veterinary care and poor sanitation; or when its vet Gretchen Steininger was fined and reprimanded for negligence and incompetence - oops, not a good photo op.

And where was the picture of baby Kenny, the endangered Asian elephant forced to perform despite his visible illness, who died alone following the performance? No, very bad photo op. The U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Ringling $20,000 for that.

For a concise list of references and dates regarding Ringling's treatment of animals, visit . Then visit your conscience.

Kiley Blackman, Yonkers
The writer is spokesperson,
Animal Defenders of Westchester.

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