Retire Petting Zoo Elephant After Nearly Two Decades of Cruelty

Elephant by Jim Bowen

Target: The R.W. Commerford Traveling Zoo

Goal: Retire the 46-year-old elephant Beulah who has been used in a petting zoo for nineteen years.

Beulah the elephant has been on the road for more than 19 years traveling with the Commerford Zoo, where at every stop she is forced to have children ride on her back as they kick and prod at her or pull on her sensitive ears. She is over four decades old, and is overweight and unhealthy. The Commerford Zoo has already been cited by the Department of Agriculture for the mistreatment and abuse of their animals and has a long list of Animal Welfare Act violations in part because of their use of bullhooks, a device used to inflict pain on elephants as a means of obedience and training.

Elephants are incredibly intelligent animals, carrying the largest brain of any mammal. They use tools, have emotions, and mourn the deaths of their loved ones. Keeping intelligent mammals trapped in a traveling amusement park for the entertainment of others is inhumane and wrong. Barnum and Bailey have already agreed to stop using elephants in their circus acts. Tell the R.W. Commerford Zoo to follow this same policy and allow this majestic animal to live out the rest of her life free of unlawful abuse and beatings.


To the Authorizing Associates of the R.W. Commerford Traveling Zoo:

I am extremely offended by your use of elephants in your petting zoo and attractions. Elephants are incredibly intelligent animals that experience both physical and emotional pain, and the use of bullhooks such as the ones you have been reported to be using inflict both of those onto your 46-year-old Beulah. She has been on the road with you for almost twenty years, and now it is time to let her go from your act. She deserves to live out the rest of her life in freedom and peace.

Bullhooks have already been banned by multiple districts and businesses. Barnum and Bailey, a figurehead in the entertainment and circus community, has already agreed to remove elephants from their act completely. I am here to ask you to do the same and make the moral and ethical decision to spare these empathic creatures from further cruelty and exploitation. Elephants have been documented comforting and helping their own in times of stress or need, and we ask you now to do the same. Remove elephants from your collection of animals and let Beulah live comfortably.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Heather Norwood

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