Abuse and TB reasons behind elephants being retired from circus life

Image Source: PETA

Image Source: PETA

Washington, DC (TFC) – Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus have announced they will remove all elephant acts completely by 2018 signaling a major win from animal rights activists.

Animal rights activists have been fighting for quite some time to end the shows, mainly because of the barbaric methods used to train the animals. “Train” is a colloquialism for “break.”

What is most disturbing about the end to the practice is that outlets are already writing about it with a form of nostalgia. The Atlantic acknowledged the violence used to train the animals but still compared them to cats on the internet. If that’s the case, we all understand why Grumpy Cat wears a perpetual frown. Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of standard practices (Video may be disturbing).


The circuses, which are owned by the same parent company, tried to put a PR spin on their decision to drop elephants from the routines and most outlets followed the Press Release verbatim like obedient lackeys. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), however, released some other data that casts doubt on the statements by the company that imply the decision was motivated by customer reactions. The information PETA released pertains to the Tuberculosis infection rate among the elephants.

PETA had this to say:

“It is clear from the new information that PETA just received, as well as from the damaging records that we had already gathered, that Ringling must not wait until 2018 to take the elephants out of its tawdry shows but instead retire them from performing on the road or anywhere else immediately.”

PETA said that in 2010, 16 of the elephants tested positive for TB. At least five have already died.

According to the Center for Disease Control, TB can be transmitted from elephants to humans.

The retiring elephants will be taken to a preserve in Florida, if they survive the next three years.