Member of The Month JANUARY 2010
- Aug 14, 2009
Pulled to the ground by a web of ropes, a baby elephant learns the hard way how to become a circus performer.
In case the youngster doesn't want to co-operate, a trainer stands by with one of the sharp metal hooks used to manage the animals.
The disturbing picture is one of a series taken by a former trainer which campaigners say reveal the brutal reality of how elephants are prepared for circus work.
Trussed: Bound by its neck, legs and trunk and watched by a man with a hook, a baby elephant learns to lie down
Down: A trainer manages the animal with a sharp metal hook
The pictures show them being dragged to the ground by ropes, chained side by side, pinned down by a hook in the back of the neck and checked by cattleprods.
Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - say the elephants are also separated from their mothers by force.
Teamwork? A group of handlers hold the baby elephant with ropes
'Torture': Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - says the methods are widespread
The photographs are being used to spearhead a campaign to tighten up laws on the use of wild beasts in circuses.
The Government here is considering legislation to impose stricter conditions on their care, training and performance, particularly where young are concerned.
Campaign: The photos are being used to spearhead an effort to tighten laws over the use of wild beasts in circuses
Revealed: A handler who died last month asked Peta to use the images to ease his conscience after he'd gone
The pictures were taken in the U.S. by handler Sammy Haddock, who worked for the Ringling Bros' Barnum and Bailey Circus until 2005.
They were taken more than seven years ago - but Peta says such methods are widespread, and 'effectively amount to the torture of defenceless animals'.
Stark: Baby elephants are bound in a barn
Two against one: The anchor elephant is trained in a barn