A tear-jerking new book called "Last Chain On Billie" documents the life of Billie the Elephant, who was kidnapped from India and brought to the United States some 50 years ago.
While Billie's early years were spent rather peacefully in a Massachusetts zoo, she was sold to a circus when she was six years old. With this circus, her life turned into a waking nightmare.
The book, which was written by Carol Bradley, focuses specifically on the torture the young elephant endured while performing with this traveling circus in America and, ultimately, how she was freed.
"For so much of her life, Billie had been manhandled regardless of how she behaved. If she blinked they would hit her. If she breathed they would hit her. She just wasn’t given any slack."
This kind of treatment was not unique to Billie. There have been numerous accounts of elephants being beaten so badly that they scream every time their trainer walks by them.
"Another trainer beat an elephant so badly, she was lying on her side, heaving with sobs and tears running down her face. The handlers were so moved, they never beat her again and knelt down beside her to comfort her."
This kind of senseless torture was not without ramification for humans, either. According to an account from The Daily Mail, "In 1994, [an elephant named] Tyke went after a groom who came too close and trampled her trainer to death. She broke out of the circus arena in Hawaii and ran down streets, crushing cars and knocking one fifteen feet. Police felled her with eighty-seven bullets. Her autopsy revealed that she had massive nerve damage and a hemorrhaged brain – from so much physical abuse."
There were documented accounts from witnesses confirming that Tyke was physically beaten in a brutal manner on a regular basis, so there is little speculation necessary as to why the elephant lost it and went on this murderous rampage.
Fortunately, Billie's story does not end in such horrifying bloodshed. The now-52 year-old pachyderm was freed in 2006 and now resides in Tennessee at an elephant sanctuary.
Source: The Daily Mail