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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 cruel 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 nature, elephants walk up to 30 miles a day and are active for an average of 18 hours, 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.
Please urge the Maryland Renaissance festival to leave elephant rides out of their upcoming schedule and join the Kansas City Renaissance Festival and the more than 650 retail venues nationwide that have committed to not allowing elephant rides or other exhibits with wild animals.