To call attention to the plight of circus elephants, exercise guru Jillian Michaels will join throngs of PETA members outside the Staples Center to demand that Ringling abide by Los Angeles laws forbidding sick animals from working and that the circus free the elephants from their dismal lives in chains and boxcars.
Because they get almost no exercise, PETA says numerous elephants used by Ringling Bros. suffer crippling arthritis — a leading cause of euthanasia for captive elephants.
The Ringling troupe opening in Los Angeles on July 20 has been besieged by controversy that revolves around critical reports from elephant experts and a citation from the federal government that the circus is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
“These animals should be allowed to live as nature intended—free from beatings, chains, and screaming crowds,” says Michaels, who recently visited Africa to see elephants in their natural habitat. “Their enslavement by the circus means they spend their lives in chains and stuffy train cars with no freedom to roam, and they suffer painful, fatal ailments that come from such a stressful existence.”
Ringling Bros. has come under increasing fire since a circus worker released compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s training center. The photos expose how baby elephants used by Ringling are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for months in order to force the baby elephants to learn to perform circus tricks out of fear of punishment.
When: Wednesday, July 20, 6 p.m.
Where: Outside the Staples Center (at the corners of Figueroa and 11th and 12th streets), Los Angeles