Stop Forcing Injured Elephants to Perform


Target:  Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago

Goal: Stop an inhumane circus from forcing injured elephants to perform

Despite veterinarians observing injuries on four Ringling Brothers elephants, the popular circus will continue forcing them to perform in Chicago. Stephen Payne, the spokesman for the Ringling Brothers, said that there was no medical reason to stop the four elephants from continuing the show, despite veterinarian Dr. Philip Ensley examining them and recommending against it.

The elephants, named Nicole, Karen, Rudy, and Kelly Ann, have serious foot injuries, some of which have persisted since Dr. Ensley examined them in 2007 when the city of Los Angeles requested the examinations. Foot injuries in elephants are the number one reason they are put down, and the elephant Karen has had a cracked toenail since 2007. Nicole has an active infection, which could lead to serious problems without proper time to heal.

These elephants are not being given enough time to heal and the injuries will simply continue to be aggravated and potentially lead to euthanasia all for the sake of a show. The circus isn’t easy on elephants and the Ringling Bros. use bullhooks and chains to force the elephants into action. The city of Chicago has laws that don’t allow the over-working of animals and prohibits them to from being treated inhumanely. I would argue that this is incredibly inhumane.

Please sign the petition below and demand that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel force the Ringling Bros. to not make these elephants perform.


Dear Mayor Rahm Emanuel,

The upcoming circus in Chicago by the Ringling Brothers poses some serious problems. There are four elephants that have been examined by a veterinarian since 2007 showing serious foot injuries that will not heal unless they are given proper rest. The Ringling Bros. are forcing these four elephants to perform in this upcoming show, allowing the risk of complications from these injuries that could lead to their deaths.

Dr. Philip Ensley has 29 years experience at the Zoological Society of San Diego and has examined these elephants in the past and as recently as last month. He agrees with PETA that these animals should be given proper rest and time to heal rather than participating in this show.

Chicago has laws protecting animals from being over-worked and treated inhumanely. Forcing these elephants to perform when they are seriously injured is inhumane and should not be tolerated. Please do the right thing and stop the abuse of elephants Nicole, Karen, Rudy, and Kelly Ann by forcing the Ringling Bros. to cancel their Chicago show.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: via Pam Fray

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  1. How is it the same names keep coming up, ie Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey , and the USDA still does nothing about closing them down? Are they deaf and dumb, or is it a question of playing the same game, after all it does mean ,simple fines, bolster their coffers.Even we in Europe are waking up to those names, and we wonder what the so-called First Nation is playing at?

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5477 Signatures

  • Pam Dickerson
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