Here in New Mexico, a young circus elephant
named Heather died after being left in a hot trailer. Read more
about this incident.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus was
the subject of criticism when two of its baby elephants died; one
was forced to perform while visibly sick and the other drowned while
being chased by a trainer.
Authorities investigating a complaint that Pasha,
a Siberian tiger, had damaged tendons in her trainer's face by thr
owing him in the air, found Pasha lying in diarrhea, and the other
cats on the premises lying in vomit and suffering from urine burns.
Pasha, unable to stand, underweight, dehydrated, and suffering from
abscesses and infection, died shortly thereafter.
Employees of a circus in Las Vegas, NV are quoted
as saying, "I saw [the trainer] punch the camel in the eye
and hit [him] with a cane and blind [him] because the camel spit
at him," and, "I witnessed the beating of the cub Sheba
with a chain and then with a metal rod."
Seven polar bears were found confined in 113-degree
weather trying desperately to cool off.
A former Ringling Bros. employee told the Elephant
Alliance, "She was a sweet little innocent brown bear who never
hurt anyone. . . .but sometimes she had trouble balancing on the
high wire. She was then beaten with long metal rods until she was
screaming and bloody. She became so neurotic that she would beat
her head against her small cage. She finally died."
A Hudson News reporter said of Ringling
Bros., "Repeatedly, [a chimp] was struck with a sturdy club.
The thumps could be heard outside the arena building, and the screams
further than that."
Two tigers with Ringling Bros. suffered injuries
that included a broken tooth after struggling desperately to escape
from cages inside sweltering boxcars after the vent doors had blown
shut, causing the temperature inside to skyrocket.
About newly captured baby elephants, an investigator
with the National Council for the SPCA (South Africa) wrote, "One
elephant was tied up in the warehouse. ... When the elephant simply
moved its trunk or shifted its weight, the mahouts [elephant handlers]
would all hit it. Especially the mahout in front, who would whip
its face with a rubber whip. I counted that during this training
session of 20 minutes, the elephant was hit or stabbed with an ankus
a total of 136 times."