While serving as the honorary crueltymaster ringmaster at a performance of the Atlanta-based UniverSoul Circus, Clayton County Commissioner Eldrin Bell made a grand idiot of himself by making a grand entrance on an elephant. It seems as though the commish might need a refresher on state law, because riding an elephant is illegal in Georgia.
Now the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is investigating UniverSoul Circus and the company that leased it the elephant. Not surprisingly, UniverSoul's animal suppliers have repeatedly failed to meet the minimum standards for animal care required by the Animal Welfare Act.
Apparently, one of the conditions of UniverSoul's state exotic-animal permit is not allowing anyone to ride an exotic animal. Possible penalties for breaking the rules include fines and revocation of permits. Can we vote for both?
Written by Michelle Sherrow