Sunday, May 11, 2008

today at 3:00 at the (civic center) xl center

(what a stupid name by the way, the xl center) - a protest against animals in the circus will be going on. specifically ringling brothers circus. their show is packing up, it's their last day in hartford. i personally have NOT been to a circus with animals since i was a teenager. (and that was LONG ago)

the following is an email i received:

Animal Advocates HOLD SPECIAL MOTHER'S DAY PROTEST of Ringling Circus
Appeal asks families to boycott circus

HARTFORD— Activists from around Connecticut will converge in Hartford Sunday afternoon to protest the Ringling Brothers cruelty to animals and urge families to boycott the closing night of the circus.

WHEN: Sunday, May 11, 3 p.m.WHERE: The XL Center (formerly Hartford Civic Center) at Church St. Entrance, Hartford

Protestors will distribute special Mother's Day cards that read "What would you do if your child was taken away from you and you could never see her again?" referring to Ringling's practice of ripping baby elephants away from their mothers so that they can train them to perform.

Elephants naturally form strong family bonds. In the wild, female elephants stay with their families for life and males do not leave the herd until they are in their teens. The entire herd helps to love and nurture the babies.

Ringling is currently being sued in federal court by animal welfare groups for violating the Endangered Species Act with its routine mistreatment of elephants. The plaintiffs include former Ringling employee Tom Rider, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Fund for Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the Animal Protection Institute.

This year, Ringling is bringing its Blue Unit to Hartford for the Mother's Day weekend. All of the circus's elephants were torn from their mothers as babies, whether they were wild-born in Asia or from circus breeding facilities in this country. Four of Ringling's baby elephants have died since 1998, and Ringling has been fined by the federal government for injuring babies in the process of separating them from their mothers .

Ringling's elephants crisscross the country on the circus's trains 11 months of the year, logging more than 25,000 miles. They travel in cramped cars without climate control, eating and sleeping in their own excrement;, when not performing, they are chained or in tiny pens. Circus trainers use bullhooks and electric shock to train them, and they perform out of fear that they will be subjected to more pain. The combination of boredom, confinement and extreme stress causes many of the Ringling elephants to develop disease and show signs of neurotic behavior, such as swaying and head-bobbing.

"The natural needs of wild animals cannot be met in traveling shows," said protest organizer Deb Robinson of West Hartford. "Circus elephants lead miserable lives of constant travel and abuse. It is important for people to understand that animals don't belong in circuses and that the price of their ticket funds this cruelty."

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