Change.org - Late at night on Sunday, August 6, in Anaheim, California, as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was loading its performing animals onto boxcars, an elephant named Sarah fell from a ramp and collapsed on the ground.
Ringling is claiming that the stumble was entirely accidental — the 53-year-old elephant simply lost her footing while boarding the train and unsuccessfully trying to back down the ramp.
But that’s not what it looked like to eyewitness Ameer Sanghvi, who told NBC LA, "They were struggling to get her on the ramp. She finally managed to get on the ramp and that's when she collapsed on her back, on the gravel with rough rocks.”
Just last month, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reported that the USDA had cited Ringling in June for violating the Animal Welfare Act by failing to provide proper treatment for the same elephant. Sarah has a history of having a pus-like discharge in her urine and an elevated white cell count. Per the USDA inspection report, her handlers ignored Ringling's senior veterinarian’s orders to treat the infection, which could become fatal if neglected.
Animal Defenders International (ADI) has filed a formal complaint with USDA Western Regional Director Robert M. Gibbens, asking him to remove Sarah from the circus.
Matt Rossell, ADI’s campaigns director, stated, “Sarah is sick, and the stress and fatigue has likely led to this dangerous fall. This elephant needs to be taken off the road immediately so she can be properly evaluated and treated by a veterinarian.”
Instead of performing handstands, Sarah should be receiving veterinary care. Sign the petition telling the USDA to remove Sarah from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Written by Laura Goldman
Photo via PETA