Anyone who suffers from arthritis knows how painful a disease it is. The pain is relentless—every move can be excruciating. Elephants used in the circus are susceptible to arthritis because of constant confinement and being forced to perform grueling tricks over and over, facing punishment if they do not comply. Acclaimed actor Cloris Leachman exposes the suffering of these arthritic elephants in a shocking video for PETA.
Karen, Nicole, and Sara—three elephants Ringling hauls from town to town chained in cramped boxcars—exhibit serious lameness and stiffness. Nicole and Karen also suffer from arthritis, and Sara, who is only 10 years old, is well on her way to developing the disease. Ringling has ignored all recommendations that Nicole be excluded from performing certain routines, and now she is in such poor physical condition that experts insist that keeping her on the road constitutes unnecessary cruelty. Karen is also on the road performing grueling tricks, even after experts observed that she had deep, painful abscesses on her unkempt feet and that she exhibited serious unnatural behavior. Foot disorders and arthritis are the leading reasons for euthanasia in captive elephants.
Cloris explains, “Instead of receiving treatment or even relief from their excruciating pain, elephants with Ringling Bros. are poked, prodded, shocked, and beaten.” She continues, “They are forced to perform ridiculous circus tricks like standing on their head or hind legs, which puts even more pressure on their aching joints.” Ringling has ignored all recommendations that these ailing elephants be excluded from routines and continues to make them perform.
Please take a minute of your time to help spare circus elephants from additional suffering by sending a polite note to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack asking him to stop folding to pressure from Ringling and to immediately seize these ailing elephants before it’s too late.