Don’t Force Injured Elephants to Perform in Circus


Target:  Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago

Goal: Stop an inhumane circus from forcing injured elephants to perform

Despite veterinarians observing injuries on four Ringling Brothers elephants, the popular circus will continue forcing them to perform in Chicago. Stephen Payne, the spokesman for the Ringling Brothers, said that there was no medical reason to stop the four elephants from continuing the show, despite veterinarian Dr. Philip Ensley examining them and recommending against it.

The elephants, named Nicole, Karen, Rudy, and Kelly Ann, have serious foot injuries, some of which have persisted since Dr. Ensley examined them in 2007 when the city of Los Angeles requested the examinations. Foot injuries in elephants are the number one reason they are put down, and the elephant Karen has had a cracked toenail since 2007. Nicole has an active infection, which could lead to serious problems without proper time to heal.

These elephants are not being given enough time to heal and the injuries will simply continue to be aggravated and potentially lead to euthanasia all for the sake of a show. The circus isn’t easy on elephants and the Ringling Bros. use bullhooks and chains to force the elephants into action. The city of Chicago has laws that don’t allow the over-working of animals and prohibits them to from being treated inhumanely. I would argue that this is incredibly inhumane.

Please sign the petition below and demand that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel force the Ringling Bros. to not make these elephants perform.


Dear Mayor Rahm Emanuel,

The upcoming circus in Chicago by the Ringling Brothers poses some serious problems. There are four elephants that have been examined by a veterinarian since 2007 showing serious foot injuries that will not heal unless they are given proper rest. The Ringling Bros. are forcing these four elephants to perform in this upcoming show, allowing the risk of complications from these injuries that could lead to their deaths.

Dr. Philip Ensley has 29 years experience at the Zoological Society of San Diego and has examined these elephants in the past and as recently as last month. He agrees with PETA that these animals should be given proper rest and time to heal rather than participating in this show.

Chicago has laws protecting animals from being over-worked and treated inhumanely. Forcing these elephants to perform when they are seriously injured is inhumane and should not be tolerated. Please do the right thing and stop the abuse of elephants Nicole, Karen, Rudy, and Kelly Ann by forcing the Ringling Bros. to cancel their Chicago show.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: via Pam Fray

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  1. These people have a history of animal abuse

  2. Circus fun and shows by all means. Clowns and trapeze artists : certainly. But please leave out animals altogether : they do NOT belong in the circus ring, least of all injured animals!

  3. Petra Postma says:

    No animals of any kind belong in circuses! All circuses exploiting animals should be banned. Chicago should never have allowed this circus to come.

  4. Proper rest before performing again? I have a better idea. How about not having animals perform in circuses ?!?!?! Our family never attends any circus or other type of event where animals are forced to perform. These beautiful creatures were not put on this planet for human entertainment.

  5. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    This magnificent animals were born to be free. They don’t belong in captivity. Using them for enterntainment is barbaric and inmoral.

  6. Thisis so archaic now. Animals should not be doing this. They shouldn’t be in circuses at all. They are huge herd aims who should be in sanctuaries. Stop the animal acts; let humans do what they want to do. Leave the animals out of it

  7. It is bad enough that these animals have to perform day in and day but they should get the crippling ones the care they need. Let them heal and rest.

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