Rock icon and animal defender Pink recently fired off a letter to President Obama asking him to find out why the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has closed three investigations into serious allegations of cruelty to animals by the Ringling Bros. circus without taking action. The investigations expired because of the statute of limitations—a delay caused by the USDA, the very department that was supposed to be investigating Ringling!
PETA is challenging the Office of General Counsel to reopen these investigations because the following animals suffered and died while in Ringling's "care":
- Clyde, a 2-year-old lion, was killed when he was allowed to bake to death in a boxcar as the circus traveled through the Mojave Desert on a scorching July day when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. The circus refused to stop the train so that Clyde could be watered because the train was behind schedule.
- Eight-month-old baby elephant Riccardo was killed while he was being violently trained with ropes and bullhooks to stand on a circus pedestal. He fell off the pedestal, breaking both of his legs and requiring that he be euthanized.
- Elephant Angelica was beaten with a bullhook while she was chained by two legs.
Five years ago, while still serving as a senator, Barack Obama asked the USDA on PETA's behalf for an update on these pending cases and was assured that appropriate action was being pursued.
The lack of action in these investigations is particularly troubling since government officials have already been found to be in cahoots with Ringling.
We're also calling on the USDA to seize four elephant traveling with Ringling right now who are suffering from painful arthritis. Please don't wait to speak out for these animals—they need you now.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor