This month, the most amazing experience happened to me as I was given the opportunity to interview Jan Creamer, President of the Animal Defenders International. I wasn’t fully aware of the abuse that our animals face in this world. Sure, I heard about it, but really didn’t understand it. With my preliminary research, I learned so much about animal abuse in circuses and travelling shows that literally felt ill and was compelled to do my part to end this ridiculous big top event for human enjoyment.
Bob Barker Spearheads New Campaign to End Elephant Suffering
Animal Defenders International (ADI) has launched the first nationwide initiative in the United States about the use of elephants giving rides or making appearances at public events. At the heart of the campaign is a new DVD narrated by Emmy award winning TV host Bob Barker entitled ‘No Fun For Elephants,’ featuring harrowing undercover footage from inside elephant training facilities in California, as well as abuse of an elephant on tour by a Texas-owned company.
Bob Barker introduces the video, “To many, it looks like harmless fun, but elephants pay a heavy price for the few minutes of entertainment they provide when performing in circus shows, giving rides, or making appearances at parades, weddings or other events. Most of us marvel at the majesty of wild animals and I can understand why people want to see animals like elephants up close. But isn’t it especially tragic when animals are suffering and being abused simply to entertain us?”
The video includes ADI undercover footage showing elephants supplied for rides, appearances and other events by Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, CA and Trunks & Humps of Conroe, TX, being beaten and electric shocked during training and handling, behind the scenes. The same trainers are then shown controlling the elephants as they give rides and make appearances at parades.
The ‘No Fun For Elephants’ DVD is being mailed to event organizers across the U.S., including board members of county fairs, renaissance fairs and organizers of town parades, urging them to adopt a humane ‘no elephant rides or performances’ policy, in view of the suffering these animals endure. ADI also highlights the risks to public safety by the way that just lightweight rope, tape or fencing is used to contain these large and stressed animals, while they are in public.
Elephant rides have recently been abandoned by several events, after viewing ADI evidence, including Orange County and Los Angeles County Fairs, the city of Fountain Valley, CA, and Santa Ana Zoo. ADI is confident that if event organizers are given the facts and understand the cost to the animals, they will say “no” to the suffering.
Jan Creamer, ADI President: “We believe that once people see how these animals suffer behind the scenes, they will not endorse such cruelty. We realize an elephant walking around a small enclosure giving rides looks like a bit of harmless fun, but it takes a vicious training regime to get these wild animals to be so quiet and compliant in public. We know that event organizers will be shocked and will agree that these rides and appearances bring shame on their event.”
As Bob Barker concludes: “It really isn’t harmless fun, and it’s time it stopped.”