Some people may have mixed feelings about social media, but there’s no denying how these platforms can help expose animal abuse. Recently, on her way to work, Ashley Giles took a short video of a circus elephant chained up, rocking back and forth, with another elephant lying down on the concrete nearby, and posted it on Facebook.

In the caption, she writes, “My walk into work this morning. I hate the circus. I know I can’t force anyone’s hands, but please don’t attend and support this event ‘Garden Bros. Circus’ at the Civic Center…”

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At first glance, you may not understand how disturbing the video actually is. Very few people realize that the rocking back and forth is actually a sign of zoochosis. The term “zoochosis” was coined in 1992 by Bill Travers to characterize the obsessive, repetitive behaviors exhibited by animals kept in captivity. Some of the abnormal behavior’s that have been documented associated with this deep form of mental distress include self-mutilation, vomiting, excessive grooming, coprophagia (consuming excrement), random biting, twisting or nodding of the neck and head, and yes, weaving back and forth – as seen in the video. None of these traits are normal of any species in the wild, again proving that wild animals absolutely do NOT belong in captivity.

Another issue that should be pointed out is the second elephant with nothing more than a patch of hay to lay on. Can you imagine being forced to literally sleep on concrete before having to perform unnatural acts to entertain loud, obnoxious humans?

While it these shows may appear all fun and games to the audience, that’s hardly the case for the animals involved. Circus animals are typically kept in less than suitable conditions and are subjected to severe abuse and cruelty in order to learn “tricks.” The best way you can stand up for circus animals is to never buy a ticket. Once people stop paying for it, cruelty can finally stop.

If you are as outraged at the suffering of wild animals for human entertainment explore the following links:

5 Ways You Can Help End the Use of Animals in Circuses

Zoochosis and the Many Ways We Have Failed Zoo Animals

Zoochosis: What Really Happens To Animals In Captivity

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