By Deirdre Healy
October was Elephant Awareness Month in Tennessee because of the efforts that the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald has made toward improving the lives of elephants throughout the world.
Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the sanctuary in October. The Tennessee sanctuary has volunteer days about once a month. Kathy, Marissa and I traveled from Massachusetts to Hohenwald, TN for a long weekend so that we could work outdoors one Saturday for the benefit of “the girls,” as the elephants are lovingly called.
The sanctuary houses 15 female Asian and African elephants. Most are Asian elephants. There are only 2 African elephants. Apparently it is natural for female elephants to live together. In the wild, they live in matriarchal herds. Male elephants, by the time they reach the age of 20, spend most of their time alone. Continue reading Visiting the Elephant Sanctuary
Dear InCity Times readers,
In July 2009, PETA released the findings of an undercover investigation of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that spanned several months and took place in more than a dozen U.S. states. Our investigator documented routine abuse of elephants and tigers at the hands of Ringling workers, including an animal superintendent and a head elephant trainer.
One of the implements that Ringling employees routinely use is a bullhook—a heavy, hard-handled device with a sharp, steel hook at one end that trainers use to beat elephants on the head, the ears, the trunk, and other sensitive areas. The use of bullhooks is standard in the circus industry, and its use on elephants results in pain, suffering, and trauma, including lacerations, puncture wounds, and abscesses. While an elephant’s skin appears tough, it is actually so sensitive that the animals can feel a fly land and the pain of an insect bite. Trainers typically embed the hooks into the elephants’ skin and soft-tissue areas. Continue reading Ask your legislator to help elephants by supporting S. 1870
By State Senator Robert L. Hedlund, minority whip
I didn’t consider myself an “animal protection” person. I wear a leather motorcycle jacket. I sometimes eat meat. And I oppose forming a union for pigeons that “act” in movies, as one of my colleagues is pushing for.
Yet, I am now and have been for several years, one of the Legislature’s leading advocates against cruelty to elephants, and other animal protection issues.
I owe it all to members of the South Shore Humane Society, who brought to my attention one day the physical and mental abuse leveled against non-domestic animals that are forced to perform as part as circuses or traveling exhibits. Continue reading A change of heart