Wednesday, April 9


"With a bull hook in her hand and tears in her eyes, Archele Hundley told horrified Chicago aldermen that she once saw the head elephant trainer at the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus swing the device 'with all his might . . . like a baseball bat' against the ear and legs of a chained elephant that refused a command to lie down. It happened in 2006 during a two-week layover in Tulsa, Okla. 'It was the worst beating that I have ever, ever seen in my life. . . . She bled profusely. She screamed and she shrieked in pain as blood just dripped down her ear. This beating lasted for about 35 to 45 minutes, Hundley said."

Not surprisingly, "Feld Entertainment, producer of Ringling Brothers, flatly denied Hundley's cruelty claims. Circus officials called her a 'sponsored witness of an animal-rights group' whose allegations were investigated and dismissed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

Yeah, that USDA, they're always right on the ball in detecting animal abuse, aren't they?

The only problem, though, with this kind of focus is that it presumes there's a kinder, gentler way to exploit elephants. Putting elephants in a circus is abuse. Period. Everything else is gravy.

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