Most of us know by now that the circus isn’t the place of magic and joy it’s made out to be. The treatment of animals in most, if not all, circuses is unpleasant and at times cruel.
Recently, a photo taken by former Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus trainer Sam Haddock came to light. In the photo, Haddock illustrates what life is like for circus-born elephants. A row of infant elephants stand in a dark room, chained to the walls. One of them appears to be struggling to escape. There are no adult elephants in the photograph.
Life for an elephant born in the circus is hard, practically from day one. Infants are taken from their mothers at just a few days old. This is a heartbreaking process for both of them. Then they are forced into training, making the elephants contort into unnatural positions for the sake of a show.
Trainers use sharp, pointed objects called bullhooks in order to keep the elephants under their control. Oftentimes, the elephants are put into situations which cause them further harm, as in the case of an eight month old who fell from a platform during a show. He broke two legs, and was euthanized instead of being rehabilitated.
It’s not easy to think about the conditions of animals in circuses. The pain and the fear that they experience can be a heavy burden to accept. But it is only by being brave and looking into the darkness that we can make a change.
You can see watch more about the difficult life of circus animals in the video below! What did you think? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!
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