Target: Kari and Gary Johnson, owners of Have Trunk Will Travel
Goal: Stop physically abusing and over restraining elephants
In an investigation by Animal Defenders International, it was found that Have Trunk Will Travel, an elephant entertainment company based in Perris, California, has been mistreating their elephants terribly in the process of their training. Footage released by Animal Defenders International shows that these elephants were beaten with hooks and electrically shocked during the day, then chained tightly together from 6:30pm to 6:30am—12 hours in all—during the night. A baby elephant was even seen being dragged by the trunk after receiving a blow to the head.
Though Have Trunk Will Travel claims that they train their elephants by positive encouragement and snacks as rewards, the footage by Animal Defenders International shows no evidence of such.
According to elephant biologist Dr. Joyce Poole, the sounds of the elephants’ roars and squeaks in the video indicate heavy suffering and trauma and suggest that the elephants may have been forced to perform tricks that are unnatural and painful.
Elephants are precious animals and should be treated gently just like all other animals are—perhaps more so, as many elephant species are endangered and must be carefully protected.
By signing this petition you will help urge Have Trunk Will Travel to stop their cruel practices and to promise they will treat their elephants with respect and allow them designated free roaming time from now on.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Johnson,
Investigations by Animal Defenders International have found that your treatment of trained elephants is not as encouraging or positive as you claim. In fact, footage taken by the investigating organization show your employees beating and electrically shocking your elephants, then chaining them together tightly for 12 hours at night.
Elephants are a gentle species and there is no reason to treat them that way. Many species are in fact endangered, so it is more important for us to take their well-being into consideration.
Please treat your elephants kindly from now on. Though elephant performances are entertaining to watch, it is completely unacceptable to provide these performances at the expense of the elephants’ well-being.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brian Snelson via Wikimedia Commons