Circus: I’m conflicted here…

I love the circus; I hadn’t been to the Ringling Bros circus in probably 20 years. On the way into the Honda Center to see the circus today, protesters were handing out leaflets about cruelty to elephants in training. I took some photos (had a crappy lens with my camera thinking they weren’t going to let me in with my 70-200mm) but some fun stuff nonetheless. The elephants were great, always amazing to see them.

Now that I’m home, I’m reading up on them. Is the training for all elephants torture and beatings? Are the tricks they are doing physically crippling them? You hear PETA say so…and a statement by a deceased elephant trainer seems pretty damning:

But Ringling has a whole “center for elephant conservation” dedicated to “breeding and retirement, conservation etc”.

I loved the elephant act…so I am not sure I want to know the truth or think about them. Zoos have had plenty of bad press about conditions of their elephants…why would elephants in boxcars be better off?