Barnum and Baileys Circus performed its final cruel show on May 21, 2017 in response to public outcry regarding its inhumane mistreatment of elephants and big cats. In March 2014, I protested for PETA against the circus cruelty holding a vivid poster of elephant abuse at the Barclays Center. As a young child I was saddened by the heavy chains around the elephants feet and ankles underneath the big top at Madison Square Garden.
The Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Center For Elephant Conservation in Fellsmere, Florida is the designated retirement home for these former abused circus elephants. CEC is NOT an elephant sanctuary which these elephants deserve after suffering a lifetime of abuse. In 1999, CEC failed a USDA inspectionunder The Animal Welfare Actdue to restraint policy (retired elephants were chained most of the day). Elephants at CEC continue to be bred and to be sold to other circusorganizations. These elephants spend as much as 23 hours chained on concrete floors according to Gary Jacobson, former general manager of CEC. Many of these elephantsat CEC have tuberculosis. Eight CEC elephants have passed away since a 2011 PETA investigation.
Tigers and other exotic cats are about to be sold back to German circuses instead of being retired to legitimate big cat sanctuaries like theone in Tampa, Florida. There are only 2 legitimate elephant sanctuaries in the US.Both of these sanctuaries have vast land area necessary for elephant movement. The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald Tennessee has 2,700 acres and the Performing Animals Welfare Society in California has 2,300 acres. CEC has a mere 200 acres which is insufficient; and it does not allow the elephants to roam free in spite of its public misrepresentations. Elephants-the most massive land animal on earth need vast space in which to live even in captivity. In the wild, African elephants move approximately 19-37 miles per day.