Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saving Elephants. . . . . . . .


Have you heard the news regarding Ringling Bros. 
decision to discontinue elephant acts in their circus. . . . . . in 2018?
The sad thing is that date is a long way off.


Mother and baby at the river - Patara Elephant Farm, Chiang Mai, Thailand  

We all seem to love elephants. Most of us first viewed elephants at the circus as children. 
We had no idea as to the way these magnificent animals were trained to perform 
when we were young.  Sadly, many of us bury our heads in the sand not wanting 
to know now we are older.



Me with Mokosoup, my gentle, sweet female elephant for the day at 
Patara Elephant Farm ~ a beautiful working farm where elephants are saved from 
cruel situations, cared for and bred with love and kindness. 
This day spent with the Asian elephants in Thailand is one I'll never, ever forget.



Paula and me - riding our Asian elephants (bareback) to lunch 
at the river - Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I made a decision not to attend a circus after spending time with elephants in 
both Asia and Africa. The 'tricks' elephants are trained to perform are often 
life-threatening. We were told at Patara the specific circus trick of making an elephant 
stand, balancing its huge weight on its front legs, can cause an early death. 
After two visits to Africa I also decided I would no longer visit zoos. Seeing wild 
animals in their natural habitats is so breathtaking that watching them through
bars, caged, or made to perform, was something I could no longer do.

To learn more on the treatment of circus elephants and Ringling's decision
read here. 


12 comments:

  1. Good for you Mary! I signed the petition to stop Ringling using elephants a few weeks ago and I'm deeply disappointed that they have decided to ignore public opinion. Hopefully it'll hit them where it hurts - in the pocket, though then I wonder what will happen to the dear elephants ....
    Sending a {Hug}
    Rose H
    xx xx

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  2. What an amazing experience that must have been, Mary. Terrific photos. I'm not a particular animal-lover, but I share your discomfort about zoos and was reminded earlier today, when looking at someone's blog featuring a grizzly in the wild, that greed and cruelty have resulted in the loss of many of Britain's native mammals. I do understand that zoos have a conservation role these days, though, and am happy visiting when the animals have a reasonable amount of space - though over here it can never be as much as in the wild. Performances that depend on cruelty, however, should surely be banned.

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  3. I'm afraid that I, too, and behind on commenting (and blogging!) -- so I'm catching up right now. I am so happy that the circus is choosing to finally phase out the elephant tricks. Agreed, it should come sooner... but at least we can find some solace in knowing that it will happen eventually. I went to the circus with a friend way back when I was in middle school, and it actually made me very sad. I vowed that I would never go to another circus, unless they removed the animal acts. In other words, whenever you'd like to go see a Cirque du Soleil show, I'd love to join you, haha! So excited about the warmer weather. Our windows have been open since Tuesday, and the fresh air is invigorating. I'll be heading to Lowes this weekend to get started on planting herbs and perhaps some flowers. Enjoy your day! xx

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  4. I agree Mary....I hate seeing animals caged in zoos and have never gone to a circus in my life. Love the photos of you with the elephants.
    xoxo

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  5. I did hear about this news, but I didn't realize it was still three years off. I know a little about elephants and their phenomenal intelligence and personality from reading several books about them. I *love* the photos of you with the elephants and how amazing that you actually got to ride on one! I have never been to a circus, nor will I ever go to one. (Same with rodeos.) I took my boys to the zoo several times when they were little but now that I am older and wiser, I see how cruel they really are. I will not support zoos either. Thank you for your post.

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  6. I'm glad to see the decision - though I know it could be done earlier. I have never attended circuses with elephants or other animals and never go to zoos. When we were in WV it was suggested we spend the day at a zoo but I had to politely decline - because I am ethically opposed to captive animals - or whales and dolphins in aquariums - it is all cruelty. I'm glad you got to experience your visits with elephants.

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  7. Elephants are such beautiful creatures and at risk from more than circuses. They are still hunted for their ivory and their existence is threatened. I find that so sad. I feel just as you do about zoos and circuses - they've never appealed to me. Keeping animals in captivity just to entertain humans is abusive. Lovely photo of you and Paula riding your elephants.

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  8. You are right in that we all love elephants...the little baby ones are so adorable.
    xoxo

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  9. Aren't the zoos now more concerned about the animals' welfare rather than making them do tricks as they make them do in circuses? I understand that it would be great to see the animals in their natural habitat, but what about the elephants that will no longer be allowed in a circus? What will happen to them? They should be in a Zoo so that children can see them and appreciate them for the natural wonders that they are...but only in zoos that care for them properly!
    I love elephants by the way, fell in love with them from TARZAN but when I saw them at Zoo Atlanta for real, I love them even more.

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  10. Dear Mary, Have you been watching a show "The secret life of Elephants?"
    How special it must have been to be so near Elephants in their native habitat.

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  11. Our little Cotswold circus called Giffards uses only humans along with the owners horse and her geese. They just trot and waddle around the tent and then go back to the farmyard.

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  12. What an amazing experience you had. I too am glad they will not be using Elephants in the Circus anymore. Now they have to think about the same thing for Tigers.
    We have two amazing Zoo's close by. One in Milwaukee, WI and the other in Brookfield IL. Both are dedicated to providing proper habitat for the animals and have come a long way from bars and cages.
    They have fewer animals and larger spaces. I know it may not be the ideal but for some children this will be their only chance to see a magnificent wild thing.

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