Category Archives: Animal Issues

5 Circuses that need to follow Ringling and get rid of elephant acts

From PETA.ORG . PLEASE BOYCOTT THESE CIRCUSES UNTIL THEY STOP USING WILD ANIMALS!

A few of them come to Worcester! OUR CITY MUST SHOUT: STOP THE CRUELTY TO ELEPHANTS!!!

And … a reminder!

Local gal Deb Young has created an informative and lively FB page on the wild animals forced to perform in traveling shows. Want to learn ALL ABOUT elephants, tigers, lions, bears, monkeys and the work being done in Massachusetts AND AROUND THE WORLD to put an end to their suffering in circuses, roadside zoos, traveling shows?  Then CLICK ON CIRCUS FB PAGE on THIS WEBSITE! (near the photo of the poor baby elephant!)

We’ve gained momentum with Ringling’s decision!!! Let’s PUSH ON!!!!!             – R. Tirella

 

5 Circuses That Need to Follow Ringling and Get Rid of Elephant Acts Now

Written by PETA March 13, 2015

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has conceded: The public no longer supports dragging elephants around the country and forcing them to perform tricks under the constant threat of being hit with a bullhook, so it’s phasing out its elephant acts. These other circuses should accept that the days of elephant exploitation are long over and allow the elephants used in their shows to be retired and relocated to sanctuaries:

1.) UniverSoul Circus

Atlanta law-enforcement officials recently charged both a UniverSoul Circus representative and Larry Carden, the elephant exhibitor performing with the circus, with cruelty to animals after a whistleblower reported to PETA that a handler with the circus forced an apparently fearful elephant to leave the stage by inserting a bullhook—a sharp metal weapon that resembles a fireplace poker—into the animal’s sensitive mouth.

A UniverSoul Circus trainer brandishes a bullhook.

2.) Carson & Barnes

The notorious Carson & Barnes Circus has a long history of abusing elephants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently cited the circus for failing to provide an elephant named Nina with adequate veterinary care. Nina—whom a Carson & Barnes worker was caught beating on video while touring with another circus in 2011—has lost 500 pounds in the last several months alone.

Nina, an Elephant with the Carson and Barnes Circus.

Nina, an Elephant with the Carson and Barnes Circus.

3.) Kelly Miller Circus

Kelly Miller Circus is using a lonely, sad elephant named Anna Louise. Elephants are highly social animals who suffer when denied the company of other elephants.

Elephants with the Kelly Miller circus and a trainer with a bullhook.

4.) Shrine Circuses

Shrine Circuses rent their elephant acts from a variety of exhibitors— all of which have deplorable records of animal care.

Shrine Circus elephant rides.

5.) Cole Brothers Circus

The Cole Bros. Circus paid a civil penalty of $15,000 to settle more than ten Animal Welfare Act violations. In 2011, Cole Bros. and its president pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act by illegally selling two Asian elephants. The circus was ordered to pay more than $150,000 in fines.

Tina and Jewel Cole Brothers Circus

What You Can Do

Urge Circus World, which has historically hired the notorious exhibitor Carson & Barnes Circus, to end cruel elephant exhibits. Also, only buy tickets to cruelty-free circuses that don’t force animals to perform silly tricks.

The late great Sam Simon

By Ingrid Newkirk

There’s a black ribbon hanging outside PETA’s Sam Simon Center in Norfolk, Virginia, this week, and a group of sad people inside it. The building’s namesake—TV producer, writer and director Sam Simon—beat the odds: He lived two whole years past the few months his doctor gave him when he was first diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2012. He spent those years living life to the fullest—and helping animals live life to the fullest, too.

Shortly after being diagnosed, Sam asked me to come to the hospital to help him draw up a “bucket list” of ways in which he could help animals.

I had first met Sam back in 2002 when he donated his fee for directing an episode of The Drew Carey Show to PETA because the plot involved greyhound racing and he felt that he could not in good conscience keep the money. He was funny and kind and didn’t mince words if he thought children or animals were being abused.

Sam’s first order of business was to work with PETA to close two dismal, dungeon-like concrete bear pits in North Carolina and Georgia and send the bears to a sanctuary. Despite being gravely ill, he personally traveled to the sanctuary to let the bears out of their transport cages and watched them gallop through the grass for the first time in years with a wide little-boy grin on his face. “I just wanted to have some days where I get to see animals walk in grass for the first time,” he said. “Through PETA, we rescue animals in roadside zoos and circuses. They are some of the most abused animals in the country.”

But Sam was just getting started. During the next two years, which he called the happiest of his life, he helped PETA rescue hundreds of animals, including two chimpanzees who had been held in solitary confinement in cramped, barren cages at (separate) roadside zoos. Sam paid to send them to a spacious tropical sanctuary, where they can now interact with others of their own kind for the first time in decades, climb on “jungle gyms,” lounge under palm trees and do other things that chimpanzees love to do.

He paid to transport Sunder—an elephant who had been chained by all four legs at a temple in India for seven years—to a 122-acre sanctuary, and he paid to build a new fence around it so that Sunder and the other elephants could roam freely 24 hours a day. He purchased an injured racehorse, saving him from a catastrophic breakdown. He bought more than 400 chinchillas from a California breeder, saving them from electrocution and shutting the fur farm down. As he walked through the facility’s cramped rows of cages, Sam whispered to the chinchillas, “This is your last day of abuse. This is your first day of freedom.”

An outspoken opponent of the cruelty that occurs in circuses and marine parks, Sam lived to see the tide of public opinion turn against SeaWorld after the release of the riveting documentary Blackfish. And the last piece of good news he received was that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which he had protested in person, had vowed to take performing elephants off the road by 2018.

A longtime vegan, he set up his own charity, The Sam Simon Foundation, to provide homeless people with vegan meals as well as to sponsor spay and neuter surgeries in low-income areas of Los Angeles. The foundation also rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to assist deaf people and war veterans who suffer from physical and mental trauma.

Funny to the last, Sam was a fabulous friend to all living beings, from children in Nepal to veterans in America to animals the world over. May he rest in peace.

Ingrid Newkirk is the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.PETA.org.

Does that baby bird need help? What to do if you spot wildlife babies this spring!

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

As surely as April showers bring May flowers, spring brings baby animals. Chicks are hatching, rabbits are digging dens and fawns are meandering through meadows, so chances are good that many of us will encounter young wildlife. It can be difficult to resist the temptation to scoop up a vulnerable-looking fledgling bird or squirrel pup, but well-meaning people often hurt—rather than help—animals’ chances for survival by “rescuing” baby animals who are perfectly fine and whose parents are foraging for food nearby.

Baby birds often turn up in backyards. If you see a bird on the ground with a half-inch or more of tail feathers, the bird is a fledgling who is learning to fly, and his or her parents are likely keeping a watchful eye from nearby. Leave the fledgling alone, unless the bird is in a dangerous area or there is a cat or dog nearby—in which case, place the bird on the lowest branch of a tree or shrub.

Featherless birds are nestlings and cannot fly. Place them back in the nest, if you can reach it, or make a new one from a berry basket or other small container with holes punched in the bottom and filled with shredded tissue. Hang it in a sheltered spot near the original nest, and watch for the parents to return. Don’t worry—parent birds will not reject their babies because a human has touched them. Birds have a poor sense of smell and are more likely to be bothered by human noises than human scents.

Young squirrels are often found after their nest has been blown down by a storm. The best way to reunite them with their mother is to place the babies in a box containing a hot-water bottle at the base of a tree. The mother will usually retrieve her young and move them to a safer location, but only if she feels safe—so be sure to stay away from the box and keep dogs, cats and children away, too.

 

People who see a solitary fawn or a nest of rabbits without their mother nearby often mistakenly assume that the animals have been orphaned. But mother deer nurse and attend to their young only a few times per day, and fawns spend most of their time alone—quiet and almost motionless—in open fields. Similarly, mother cottontail rabbits usually visit their nests to feed their young only twice a day, at dawn and dusk, because it decreases the chance of alerting predators to the nest’s location. If you don’t know whether the mother will come back, try placing a string over the nest. If the string has been moved by the following morning, the mother has returned.

 

If you find a baby animal who is clearly injured (e.g., has a broken wing or leg, is bleeding or is unconscious); has been caught by a cat, dog or other predator; is weak and shivering or emaciated; is in immediate danger; and/or is definitely orphaned and not being cared for, place the animal in a safe, warm, well-ventilated, newspaper-lined box and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately. Never try to care for injured or orphaned wildlife yourself. In most cases, it’s against the law to keep wild animals without the required permits, even if you plan to return them to nature. Attempting to raise wildlife yourself will likely result in frustration and sadness—baby animals require specialized care and do not fare well when raised by humans.

When it comes to baby animals—and wildlife in general—a hands-off approach is often the best one. Knowing when to take action and when not to interfere makes all the difference and can save a life.