whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other tools used
during circus acts and training sessions are reminders that the animals are forced
Elephants are chained by one or both front
and hind legs during training sessions, transport, and often between shows. Inadequate
exercise and prolonged standing in wet, unsanitary conditions may lead to foot
problems such as foot rot, cracked nails, and infected cuticles.
elephants born in breeding compounds are prematurely removed from their mothers
for training. During the separation process, calves are kept isolated and tied
with ropes at the front leg and back leg. Rope burns may develop as they struggle
against the restraints.
The bullhook, or ankus, has
a long handle and a sharp metal hook, and it's used to discipline elephants. Although
an elephant's skin is thick, it is sensitive enough for them to feel the pain
of an insect bite. Trainers embed the hook into the soft tissue behind the ears
and inside the mouth or tender spots under the chin and around the feet.
sting of a whip causes lingering, intense pain.
the whip, a jolt of electrical current is excruciatingly painful. Circuses often
use electric prods and smaller hand-held shocking devices can be easily concealed.
axe handles, baseball bats, metal pipes
These weapons are used to hit and
beat restrained animals in order to break their spirits and show them "who's
Circuses use wild animals who are by nature
unpredictable and dangerous. When animals rebel against a trainer's physical dominance,
they sometimes pay with their lives. Rampaging elephants have been gunned down
in city streets and caged tigers have been shot to death.
such as bears may be forced to wear muzzles in an attempt to keep them subdued
and to discourage them from protecting themselves if they feel threatened. Muzzling
can interfere with vision, respiration, eating, and drinking.