Thursday, March 18


"For the first time since elephants began entertaining people at American circuses more than 200 years ago, the federal government has removed a herd of circus animals from an owner accused of mistreating and mishandling his animals," reports the Washington Post. The bozo in question is "one of the largest providers of circus animals in the nation," who was in trouble last year for much of the same, and previously for an elephant that escaped a performance and went on a fatal rampage. The difference here is that the USDA is acting like it's going to take large-scale, gratuitous animal abuse a little more seriously. We'll wait and watch to see if this is followed up, but it's a notable step.

Still, the "fairy tale ending" may be illusory, as the person taking charge of the elephants' care remarks: "Cuneo has made a lot of money on the backs of these animals, and now he's getting rid of them when they're less and less useful to him. Because there is TB in the herd, it's going to be very difficult to find homes for them individually or in some groups. We think they need to remain together as a herd, and that's going to be very hard to do."

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