The Ringling Bros. Circus is coming to DC on March 21 for a series of performances featuring two crippled elephants.
People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that their elephants, named Karen and Nicole, both suffer from painful arthritis—the leading cause of euthanasia in captive elephants in the US—yet they are still forced to perform physically grueling tricks night after night with the circus.
Veterinary inspections and even Ringling's own medical records confirm their dire condition, but Ringling refuses to give them a reprieve from the shows.
There is, however, a law in DC that prohibits people from forcing animals to work when, like Karen and Nicole, they are not fit to work—and PETA is asking for citizens to help to ensure that it is enforced.
She said that the most important thing for DC students and teachers to do is simply “never go to any circus that exploits animals.” She encourages adults to guide children towards entertainment that does not use “violence and fear to train captive animals.”
Arth encourages DC teachers, especially English language arts and science teachers and students to compose and send thoughtful letters to the mayor, asking him to enforce the law and not to allow sick elephants to perform in DC.
She wants DC residents to know that there are many cruelty-free alternatives to the Ringling Bros. Circus. Not only did she cite Cirque de Soleil, which “only uses willing human performers,” Arth also told DCPS Examiner that there are also some exciting free alternatives nearby for DC residents.
PETA educators also offer fun, free informative materials for DC teachers, including posters, coloring books and stickers.
They also have a 2nd generation PETA web site for animal-lovers and budding activists from age 13-21, called www.peta2.org.
Arth recommends that Examiner readers view a free educational video about circus elephants featuring actor Alec Baldwin.
See more free videos online at www.peta.org.