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hi, i’m alec baldwin for peta. having workedwith actors for many years, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone would have to bedragged, kicking and screaming, into show business. but for the elephants with ringlingbrothers, and other circuses, that’s exactly what happens. in the wild, elephants walkfor miles every day with their families. the bond between these animals is strong and femalesspend their entire lives with their mothers. elephants in the circus will never know thislife. it’s a sad story that begins when the elephants are babies. they are torn awayfrom their mothers and forced to begin training for circus performances. these photos, takenby a ringling trainer show the terrified baby elephants as they are stretched out, slammedto the ground, gouged with bull hooks, and

shocked with electric prods. they scream,cry, and struggle, while they are forced into the painful positions necessary for circustricks. the term “break” actually means to “breaktheir spirit.” you can’t control an elephant with a hook or a chain unless you first breaktheir spirit. you chain them, you break them, and you teach them that they depend on you,for everything they need. the amount of suffering those elephants, and the tigers, and the lions,but the amount of suffering those elephants get to go through in order to entertain anyone’sfive-year-old for fifteen minutes is a crime. in 2009, peta released the findings of themulti-state investigation of the ringling brothers that included video footage of animalhandlers, including a head animal trainer,

that they beat elephants just moments beforethey walked on stage. for many years, ringling handlers have been documented digging sharpmetal-tipped bull hooks into the sensitive areas on elephants’ bodies: into the chin,behind the ears and knees, and on the face. training goes on in secret, away from thepublic, and unmonitored by any government agency. this video footage was taken during a trainingsession at carson and barnes’ circus. the head trainer instructs other animal handlersto beat and shock elephants in order to keep them in constant fear of punishment. his brotheris an elephant manager with ringling. this is standard industry practice.

the hooks and the chains and all that arepart of what reminds the elephant that we have control of you. when not in the spotlight, elephants are keptchained and confined in cramped boxcars or arena basements. the lack of mental and physicalstimulation results in severe frustration, and is the reason why you frequently see elephantsin circuses swaying neurotically back and forth. with these unnatural living conditions,many elephants have developed very painful arthritis and chronic foot problems, whichare the leading reasons of euthanasia of captive elephants in the united states. the problems i’ve seen documented with theelephants i have worked with these last forty

years, it is absolutely inappropriate forthe american people to allow ringling to continue traveling these animals and putting them inthe conditions they put them in. circuses deny animals everything that is natural andimportant to them. every basic instinct is met with punishment. as long as circuses continueto use elephants, these intelligent beings will continue to experience enormous suffering.please, never attend a circus that uses animals. thank you.

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