Wednesday: Opening Night Protest of Ringling Bros. Circus

Circus mired in controversy over abusive treatment of elephants

Los Angeles, Calif. (July 13, 2010) – In Defense of Animals (IDA), animal advocates and concerned citizens will join to protest the opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Los Angeles. Ringling has been embroiled in controversy over its brutal treatment of elephants, including calves ripped away from their mothers for violent training solely for the purpose of “entertainment.”

What: Protest of Ringling Bros. Circus opening night in Los Angeles. Activists will be holding brightly colored banners and signs and distributing leaflets.

When: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 6 p.m.

Where: Staples Center, 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles – near main box office

Ringling trainers routinely prod, hook, jab and strike elephants with a bullhook, a steel-tipped device similar to a fireplace poker that is used to control the large animals and force them to perform unnatural tricks. These abuses typically occur out of public view.

IDA will have a bullhook on hand to demonstrate how sharp, heavy and destructive these instruments are.

Evidence including court documents, undercover videos, and photos of training sessions with baby elephants shows that Ringling:

·      Routinely chains elephants in train box cars for more than 26 hours at a time and for as long as 60 to 100 hours without a break while traveling across the country for weeks at a time.

·      Physically abuses elephants with electric shock devices and bullhooks, including one elephant who was “dripping blood all over the arena floor from being hooked.”

·      Trains baby elephants through isolation from other elephants, prolonged restraint (tying their legs) and hitting with bullhooks. (A two-year-old calf, Aria, was chained nonstop for four months and only let off chains for 40 minutes a day during training.)

·      Chains elephants, who naturally walks tens of miles a day, at its Florida breeding facility for 16 to 22 hours a day.

For more information, please visit


Contact: Catherine Doyle, 323-301-5730,

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals' rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi. _________________________________________________________________________________

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048

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