July 2, 2014
Elephants and Camels are Being Exploited in Maryland. Act Now!
It turns out that a favorite seasonal destination for Maryland citizens has a dark underside. For several years, the
Maryland Renaissance Festival has offered rides on captive exotic animals, with
no thought to the suffering these animals endure. In 2013, in a tragic display
of exploitation, two elephants and two camels were paraded around a tiny space
with fair-goers on their backs. We need
your help to pressure them into ending this abuse, once and for all.
Animals used for entertainment are trained
in horrific ways and experience the same loneliness and
grief as humans when separated from their families and forced to live without their
complex social relationships.
Human/elephant contact is also highly risky for
the human participants. For example, at the New York State Fair, an elephant giving rides panicked,
injuring her trainer and a three-year-old child who fell from her back. And, during an
elephant ride at the Tarzan Zerbini Circus, one elephant fell into the
passenger loading platform, bending it and injuring three children. Check out
our Exotic Animal Incidents database for more examples of the dangers of elephant rides.
The elephants at the Maryland Renaissance Festival come from
Elephant Walk, whose founder, Franklin Murray, has a history of animal abuse
and lax standards of animal care. He was arrested in New Jersey in 2011 on four
counts of animal cruelty, and one of his elephants has also tested positive for
the tuberculosis antibody. It is unacceptable that this kind of cruel and
irresponsible operation would be hired by the festival. These unwilling
performers should not be sentenced to a lifetime of misery in order to provide fleeting
amusement and a profit.
Please call the Maryland
Renaissance Festival to politely urge them to end this exhibit, and then follow
up by sending an email (and customize it for extra impact). The festival needs to hear that compassionate citizens will no longer attend while this exploitation continues!
For the animals,
P.S. Please donate to The Elephant Defense Fund so that we can continue to help elephants in need!
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