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After being horrified at the sad sight of an emaciated elephant named Minnie enslaved at the Big E state fair in West Springfield, Massachusetts, a concerned fairgoer was recently moved to share a photo of the pachyderm on Facebook.

In the few days since, the post has gone viral, and animal activists across the country and around the world are calling for an end to the suffering of Minnie and the other wild animals who are currently on display at the Big E.

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Minnie and the two other elephants confined at the fair, Beulah and Karen, are under the “care” of R.W. Commerford & Sons, a traveling zoo which has been investigated many times by the USDA and cited on several occasions for failure to provide its animals with adequate veterinary care (among other violations).

Now, the company is once again in the spotlight for exploiting and neglecting living creatures. In addition to the Facebook post which shows Minnie looking miserable and visibly unhealthy as she is forced to carry people on her back, a heartbreaking video of an exhausted camel being dragged to its feet by a Commerford handler at the Big E is also circulating.

Even before these latest pieces of evidence against the Commerford traveling zoo were shared, the company was already involved in two active lawsuits in the state of Connecticut, both of which were filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP).

As NhRP President Steve Wise reportedly stated, the animal rights organization is working to get all of the elephants currently owned by Commerford moved to a sanctuary in California. In his words, “Elephants aren’t made to be sitting, walking around circles … people on them. They belong in a sanctuary.”

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While the NhRP’s first lawsuit against Commerford in November of 2017 was unsuccessful in doing so, they aren’t giving up until these majestic beings are placed in a sanctuary where they are given the care and freedom they deserve.

Local and global animal advocates are uniting in the name of this cause, and a petition on Care2 has been created demanding the Big E stop using living creatures for show.

If you agree that no wild animal should be confined and forced to entertain humans under any circumstances, please add your name to the petition and share it with everyone in your network! We also encourage you to donate to the NhRP if you are able so that they can continue doing their animal-saving work!

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Image Source: Nicole Collyer/Facebook

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