Activists win legal victory just as the circus comes to town

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Activists have documented repeated abuses of elephants by their Ringling Bros. handlers.

Animal welfare advocates and other critics of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus just won an important free speech court victory against the city of Oakland just as they prepare to protest the circus starting its annual run there tomorrow.

The grassroots group Humanity Through Education announced that it has reached a $500,000 settlement with Oakland to a lawsuit that plaintiffs Pat Cuviello and Deniz Bolbol filed following their 2004 and 2005 arrests while trying to document abuses of elephants by circus employees.

The settlement includes an injunction allowing the activists to freely videotape the circus operations and to distribute literature critical of circus practices, which they will exercise starting tomorrow (Wed/8) at 6:30pm outside Oakland Arena, where Ringling Bros. begins a five-day run.

“Pictures of Ringling Bros. Circus training of baby elephants will be on display and behind-the-scenes video of Ringling elephant handlers beating the animals will be shown on a large screen. The Ringling elephant handlers videotaped beating the elephants are the same handlers working the elephants in Oakland this week,” the group said in a press statement.

To read more about how Ringling Bros. treats its elephants and its critics, read our 8/12/08 cover story "Dirty Secrets Under the Big Top."

Comments

on children who want to visit a circus rather than twenty-somethings who want to drink and drug themselves into a stupor at nightclubs?

Got it.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

The "fun" you refer to is nothing more than the torture of animals who have been imprisoned, chained, and regularly beaten into submission to perform unnatural, painful tricks for our "entertainment." Please educate yourself about the circuses that use animals. Not fun for the animals, and probably no longer fun for you when you are aware of the torturous conditions under which these magnificent wild animals live.

Posted by GuestLynn on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

those in the wild or in a zoo.

SFBG only supprots fun if it is partying and drug-fuelled.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 2:09 am

Watch this video and see for yourself... Go to google and search for

youtube ringling baby elephant

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 7:44 am

That must be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard! You should educate yourself to the facts before saying something so dumb. The fact is the only time these animals who in the wild roam miles and miles each day, come out of a boxcar is when they are performing. The fact is that these animals are beaten into submission. The fact is these animals are made to watch their babies be beaten into submission. There are alot more facts if you wish to learn them. What I don't understand is why anyone would defend this or at least not want to know what is actually happening inside a company they choose to support.

Posted by Vicky VanHentenryck on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

well said Vicky, people just turn a blind eye and make out they dont understand!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 11:08 am

Oh, horse hockey, you have no idea what you are saying. Just spewing nonsense with nothing to back it up. Typical of those who still think animals are happy and content in the circus after being beaten, forced to travel most of the year to put on those groovy shows for you and your ilk.
Get some education, read something, watch the videos and maybe, just maybe you will become enlightened.
Fabulous news for those who worked so tirelessly for this. I will be there in spirit - keep those cameras rolling!!

Posted by Tryreading on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

Wrong!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

Your remark is loaded with ignorance. To compare all these bad apples, the circus, the zoo, and drug fueled parties is ridiculous. They're ALL equally nasty. What exactly is your point? That the circus is OK because it is not one of the other two choices? Do you really think that elephants want to balance on a small stool? That animals like being caged when they should be left in their natural habitat? That horses love running around a rink with some fat a____ on top of them? Animals are not put on this earth to please the whims of human children or their ignorant parents.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

Your remark is loaded with ignorance. To compare all these bad apples, the circus, the zoo, and drug fueled parties is ridiculous. They're ALL equally nasty. What exactly is your point? That the circus is OK because it is not one of the other two choices? Do you really think that elephants want to balance on a small stool? That animals like being caged when they should be left in their natural habitat? That horses love running around a rink with some fat a____ on top of them? Animals are not put on this earth to please the whims of human children or their ignorant parents.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

Poor wretch must have gotten so much of it as a youngster, that internal "wiring" was irrevokably scrabled.

Posted by lillipublicans© on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 7:07 am

The "fun" you refer to is nothing more than the torture of animals who have been imprisoned, chained, and regularly beaten into submission to perform unnatural, painful tricks for our "entertainment." Please educate yourself about the circuses that use animals. Not fun for the animals, and probably no longer fun for you when you are aware of the torturous conditions under which these magnificent wild animals live.

Posted by GuestLynn on Aug. 07, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

I protested the cruel Ringling circus at Staples Center. There were some beautiful families who, once learning about the cruelty to animals in the circus, choose to forego the circus and tossed out their tickets. Their children didn't mind at all. You see, they taught their children one of the most important lessons they could that day: compassion towards living things.

Posted by Shelley on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 6:02 am

I protested at the Ringling circus at Staples Center. There were some beautiful families who, upon learning how the animals are treated, chose to throw out their tickets and forego the cruel circus. Their kids were onboard and happy to not watch an hour show for a lifetime of cruelty. You see, these parents taught their children one of the most important lessons that day: compassion.

Posted by Shelley on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 6:09 am

Educate yourself before you comment . Pitiful .

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 6:34 am

Thinking you're a twenty something and NO, you don't get it.

You can choose to go to a nightclub and get wasted and a captive elephant has NO CHOICES.

You surely DON'T GET IT...DUDE!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

Thinking you're a twenty something and NO, you don't get it.

You can choose to go to a nightclub and get wasted and a captive elephant has NO CHOICES.

You surely DON'T GET IT...DUDE!

Posted by Guest Pat Lukes on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

Animal abuse is fun? No it is not. The rest of the circus is! Check out cirque du soleil, or circus paws ! AWESOME FUN.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 6:00 am

Hay I thought you Lilly Republicants were all about Free Speech, at least you were about the chick filets saga! Hypocrits!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 7:03 am

I like "fun" when it comes to pot smoking, binge-drinking, free sex and being all wild and shit. But how do I reconcile my touchy-feely "green" support of furry animals with my desire to see the happy, rosey-cheeked faces of little children?

For once, the self-absorbed loudmouth Lilli is stumped. I feel humbled and bereft.

Posted by lillipublicans© on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 7:44 am

Twenty-something year olds have a choice about drinking and doing drugs. They have the freedom to go out and do these things. The animals in the circus have no choice. They are beaten into submission, they are basically tortured into doing things they would never do in the wild. Babies are torn away from their mothers much too early. When an animal has bleeding from wounds caused by bullhooks, or collapses from illness or exhaustion, this is not a "better" life for them then in the wild.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 9:10 am

Children are innocent and can not make clear decisions for themselves.
My 5 year old thinks jumping from the top stair is fun, I stop her from doing so so she doesn't get hurt. So just because a child thinks something is fun, doesn't' make it right and it is the responsibility of an adult to correct wrong behaviour.

20 something's are considered adults, they make their own decisions. Stoping 20 year olds from drinking would be IMPOSSIBLE to do. Stoping the abuse of animals is DOABLE!

The animals can not speak for themselves.

Posted by peaceloveandrockandroll on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 4:03 am

YEAH! Thank goodness for small victories! Educate yourself about circuses before you comment! using the word "suspect" doesn't sound like you know much about exotic animals and BULLHOOKS!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 3:44 am

really care about animals. Circus animals are generally well fed, watered and looked after since they are profit centers.

Storm in a teacup but when the left is winning nothing else, I guess it needs something to crow about, no matter how trivial and inconsequential.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 4:01 am

See how you would like it being "well fed," kidnapped from your family as a baby and electrocuted and beaten with bullhooks, transported in railcars, chained, forced to perform your entire life no matter how you feel. There is a reason these animals sway and head-bob constantly, something you'll never see them do in the wild. This behavior is evidence of deeply disturbed animals, deprived of their herd, natural habitat and ability to roam, just as in zoos (prisons), animals are incessantly pacing, swaying, head-bobbing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation. They are miserable. They should be roaming the Serengeti with their families.

Posted by Shelley on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 6:06 am

These lefties and greenies won't be content until there is no fun on the planet except recreational drugs.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 7:17 am

Go get overdosed on something. You are a waste of oxygen.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 6:16 am
Posted by lillipublicans© on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 7:35 am

a video says it all... google...

youtube ringling baby elephant

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 7:46 am

For those here that still in a bliss of IGNORANCE , please look at the videos all over the internet about the abuse on this poor creatures, there's places where families can go and have fun.... the abuse in this circuses are horrendous, People just turn there heads to avoid the reality of this, is sad because we are try to educate and to stop this abuse..... I did protest the circus in L.A. and I was happy of doing something good for this magnificent creatures....... BREAK THE CHAINS FOR ALL CREATURES....

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 7:18 am

And then cook me up an elephant steak.

Posted by The Real Lillipublicans on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:18 am

Clearly you are another right winged moron who cares only about themselves. Your statement about cooking up an elephant steak proves your level of immaturity. What a waste of space you are....

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 12:53 pm
Yet

you felt compelled to voice your outrage. Liberals are so easy to bait.

Posted by Chromefields on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 6:45 am

Tastes oh so good with some bitchin' chili sauce and a side of dove.

Posted by lillipublicans© on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 7:47 am

What is wrong with you? You sound like an angry person who doesnt care about much besides yourself. You do not belong on this site. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with stoping animal abuse. Its well documented on the fines ringling pays for the abuse. how could you know any facts and say what you are on here? you are part of the problem. Please go be angry at the world somewhere else. We are decent people who care and are tryinv to make the world a better place for jerks like you. Educate yourself and go be angry somewhere else. ignorance is sad.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 7:54 am

Just because people choose to have compassion for another living being doesn't mean that they're trying to push a leftist agenda. And if so, does that mean that righties have no compassion? I don't necessarily believe that but, I mean, that's essentially the other side of that coin, right?

If we (the human race) are saying it's okay (with our dollars) to be brutal and cruel to what has already been proven to be an incredibly intelligent being (or any other being), then where does that leave us 50 years from now? What else will we rationalize?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:32 am

a certain group of folks rationalized the extermination of Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals. 50 years from now, it will certainly have happened again, probably several times, so dry your eyes, moderate your tone, and carry on.

Posted by Orwell's Uterus on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:39 am

These people should be ashamed of themselves. Once I read and saw what these people were doing to these amazing animals, it made me sick to my stomach. How could someone be so cruel. Elephants are my passion and to see this just disgust me. I would love to see these people get beaten for no reason just like they did to these poor Elephants. I hope no one support this circus anymore. I seriously can not express how extremely pissed off I am right now. Asian Elephants are endangered and I believe if you are going to own an endangered animal you should do everything in your power to keep them safe...

Posted by Amber Jenkins on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 11:04 am

I don't think Amber would enjoy a video of a human being getting beaten any more than she enjoyed seeing an elephant getting beaten. But she might, so give her a wide berth or she'll go street on your ass.

Posted by Chromefields on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 11:42 am

i have been to this circus and i have done my research,it seems all the video i have had pushed in my face or posters handed out to me while trying to see them in LA staples center,they are all of old stock footage circa early-mid 90's.i have yet to have see any current or at least 5yrs or less coverage of this abuse they are trying to get me believe.?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 11:46 am

Has this circus denied these training methods, or are they just mad because someone made it public?

Posted by Pam on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 3:16 am

Sarah, a sick 54-year old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey elephant, fell down from a ramp and collapsed while being loaded onto a train in Anaheim, CA, after performing at the Honda Center late Sunday, August 7, 2011. Eye witnesses captured the incident on video and notified Animal Defenders International (ADI). Ringling was recently cited by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act for failing to properly treat Sarah's chronic medical conditions. ADI has filed a complaint with the USDA, asking for Sarah to be taken off the road to get the veterinary attention she needs. ADI is concerned that Ringling is more interested in keeping the "show on the road" than Sarah's welfare. ADI believes Sarah should be retired to a sanctuary.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 9:18 am

The "Idiocracy" of the dumbed down human beings posting under the names of The Real Lillipublicans, rbbbc in oakland truly overwhelms me. We are in deep trouble in this country because of the media and what it promotes. The Average intelligence is hovering around 100 in the United States of America…..If you enjoy watching this kind of entertainment and think it is fine to do this to other living beings for your entertainment you are a deeply flawed human with limited brain power…. I hope you are not planning to breed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

The "Idiocracy" of the dumbed down human beings posting under the names of The Real Lillipublicans, rbbbc in oakland truly overwhelms me. It should not be, tis is from a circus PR person trying to defend their ongoing cruelty. No suprise.

Posted by Guest Russel on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

is better illustrated by his inability to spell two common words in a two-sentence comment.

Posted by Orwell's Uterus on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 6:49 am

I really believe if anyone knew the truth about the life of these animals in the circus, they would not go. All training methods are the same, nothing has changed in the last 50 years, except they are clearly better at hiding it from the public. Animals in the circus are not domesticated like the horse or dog. The ONLY way they are trained, are with bull hooks, block and tackle, hot cattle prods and domination. They do not respond to treats. Yes, they are fed....because they need them alive to perform. All I am asking is to think about the suffering these animals go through for your entertainment. Their lives are absolute misery...thank you...

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

Love the follow-through and the results. Ringling should be sued into oblivion!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

Some people dont know how to live life without causing pain and destruction to the world.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

Sounds like some people need to work that bromide into their next spoken-word "poem."

Posted by Greg's well-hung lover on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 8:29 am

I protested a Circus recently in downtown Louisville, KY. And there was actually a Mother and her child that left the circus despite the fact she pay a high price for her ticket. She said she had cats and the demeanor of the tigers was obvious that they were frightened and unhappy. They had sad eyes, their tails were tucked, etc. Regardless, it is not natural. There are plenty of things to do for entertainment that do not involve exploiting animals or people. Try a roller coaster, roller skating, and miniature golf. Further, I think elephants would disagree about the circus being better than the wild. A life of solitude, torture, and being scared versus living a natural life walking miles each day with their family unit. Hmm? Have you seen the way an elephant rocks that is in the circus? Yea, that is not natural but a condition created by confinement.....

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2012 @ 12:55 pm