Video footage just released by Animal Defenders International shows trainers with Have Trunk Will Travel—the company that provides elephants for rides at the Santa Ana Zoo—as they strike elephants with sharp metal-tipped bullhooks and shock them with electric prods. PETA has filed multiple complaints against this exhibitor, and we've repeatedly urged Santa Ana officials to end the rides. But so far, the zoo has refused.
The owners of Have Trunk Will Travel, which rents out elephants for movies and commercials and uses elephants in any other way that can gain its owners a buck, have defended using bullhooks, which can leave painful welts, abscesses, and puncture wounds, and have indicated that electric prods are a useful training tool. Elephants who would never do headstands or balance on pedestals—if given a choice—quickly learn to obey or suffer the painful consequences.
Please tell Santa Ana officials to stop supporting abuse like that seen on the video by discontinuing dangerous and cruel elephant rides.
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Written by Jennifer O'Connor