Wild animals in the circus suffer from health problems like obesity, arthritis, and starvation. Worst of all they develop zoochosis—depression and bizarre behavior such as pacing and self-mutilation. In the wild, elephants live with as many as 100 other elephants and walk up to 40 miles a day. But in captivity, they are deprived of socialization with other elephants and their mental and physical health are terribly affected. In February, Animal Defenders International posted a heartbreaking video of Betty, an elephant being exploited at the Garden Bros Circus in Denver, Colorado.
The video shows Betty with her head down and a stressed demeanor being forced to give rides to families in a circle. Her trunk is being dragged on the ground which is a sign of trunk paralysis and is often caused by trauma. This is all the more concerning considering the man next to Betty, Larry Corden, is holding a bull hook and was cited with animal cruelty a few years ago. In 2015, he forced a frightened elephant off a circus stage by inserting a bull hook into its mouth.
A bull hook is a long pole with a sharp hook at the end. This cruel tool is used to break the spirits of elephants so that they will be frightened into obeying and performing unnatural tricks. Aside from Betty’s obvious distress and trunk paralysis, she is believed to also have other medical conditions including joint pain and stiffness.
To demand the immediate confiscation of Betty so that she may receive medical care and be saved from this terrible life of suffering and exploitation, please sign this petition!
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