Written by Jennifer OConnor
Great news: After
more than a year of pressure from PETA, the Animal Protection and Rescue League,
Animal Defenders International (ADI), and celebrities—including Charo and Switched at Birth
star Constance Marie—the Santa Ana Zoo in California has announced
that it will discontinue cruel and dangerous elephant rides.
This is a big deal
for the elephants, who are dominated and controlled
by bullhooks—barbaric training devices that resemble a fireplace poker—as can be
seen in video
footage from ADI that shows that trainers
from Have Trunk Will Travel, the company that provided elephant rides for the
zoo, beat and shocked elephants into submission. When not working, the
elephants spend much of their time chained by two legs, barely able to take a
step forward or backward.
Elephants are highly
intelligent, social, and curious animals who deserve better than being forced
to plod along in circles all day while being prodded by a bullhook for people's
amusement. Elephants who are subjected to the constant threat of physical
punishment—like those who provided rides at the zoo—are also more prone to
dangerous and unpredictable behavior and present an unnecessary safety risk to
Please click here to send a thank-you note to Santa
Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and click here
to thank Gerardo Mouet, the executive director of the city's Parks, Recreation
and Community Services Agency, for making the compassionate decision to end the
elephant rides. Be sure to add a P.S. to Mr. Mouet to ask him to make the same
decision for the Orange County Fair since Have Trunk Will Travel provides the rides
there, too, and Mouet is on the fair's board.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.