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Renaissance festivals and medieval fairs may be celebrating a different era, but that's no excuse for embracing the archaic and inhumane treatment of animals by hosting elephant rides. Despite learning of the egregious cruelty and threat to public safety inherent in forcing elephants to give rides, some event organizers are still expected to exploit these animals.
An elephant named Jean from Trunks and Humps—a company that frequently provides Renaissance festivals with elephants—is chained and forced to stand on concrete.
In their natural homes, elephants spend their days socializing, swimming, browsing, and playing, but those used for fairs spend much of their lives in shackles. They're chained in trailers, hauled from one event to the next, and sometimes forced to stand on concrete for long periods. They routinely suffer from painful and debilitating joint and foot problems and may sway back and forth endlessly—a symptom of psychological distress.
Trunks and Humps was caught using gigantic bullhooks—sharp steel-tipped weapons that resemble a fireplace poker—on an elephant named Page, who's often forced to give rides at fairs.
In the U.S., elephants have injured dozens of humans—causing broken bones, punctured lungs, degloving injuries, and other grave harm—and killed numerous others.
Please urge these festivals to leave elephant rides out of their upcoming schedules and join the Kansas City Renaissance Festival and the more than 750 retail venues nationwide that have committed to not allowing elephant rides or other exhibits with wild animals.