Animal Defenders International (ADI) has filed a formal complaint calling on USDA Western Regional Director, Robert Gibbens to check on Sarah, a sick elephant who is part of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performances at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Eyewitnesses saw Sarah fall down (video below) and collapse while attempting to climb up a ramp onto the train car after leaving a Ringling performance at the Honda Center. The USDA complaint is available upon request.
Sign On San Diego reported last month that USDA inspectors had cited Ringling Bros. in Colorado Springs for not properly treating the 54-year old Asian elephant who is suffering from a chronic condition with pus-like discharge in her urine.
“Sarah is sick and the stress and fatigue has likely led to this dangerous fall. This elephant needs to be taken off the road immediately so she can be properly evaluated and treated by a veterinarian,” said Matt Rossell, Campaigns Director for Animal Defenders International. “Many traveling elephants are sick and still forced to perform—and incidents like Sarah’s fall underline the dangers faced by animals chained and caged in this impoverished life on the road.”
ADI will host a protest and education outreach event at the opening night performance of Ringling Bros. next stop in Ontario, CA, this Wednesday, Aug 10th starting at 6:00 p.m., at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, 4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764. Local Ontario animal control officers were initially alerted by ADI about Sarah’s fall and they said they plan to keep an eye on her through the last performance that is scheduled for Sunday, Aug 14, 2011.
Leading the ‘Break the Chain’ campaign, ADI works with animal rights and welfare organizations across the U.S. to bring awareness on a local grassroots level to the communities in which animal circuses perform.
For over 18 years, ADI has conducted investigations of circuses all over the world and has produced comprehensive reports, including one in the U.S. called “Science on Suffering,” which details evidence of animal suffering in circuses as a result of extreme confinement, constant traveling and cruel training practices. More information is available on the ADI website.