In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Will Oregon Zoo's prized baby elephant end up in a traveling show?

Tragic, and a disgusting example of humanity's gratuitous need to use abuse animals as "entertainment." Bad enough elephants are in zoos, but the potential fate of the Portland Zoos recently born elephant is dismal: Will Oregon Zoo's prized baby elephant end up in a traveling show? "Trunks Will Travel" cute, huh? Owners may or may not take ownership.

Please do what you can to make sure this doesn't happen. Animals, especially creatures such as elephants, do not belong in circuses or to be rented for entertainment. The bond between mother and child in the elephant world is life long and strong. The good news is the zoo insists the elephant will "stay put." But there is a contract dispute:
Kari Johnson, who co-owns Have Trunk Will Travel with her husband, Gary, told the Times that they were looking forward to visiting the newborn elephant and added that details regarding her future had not yet been worked out.

Perris, California, where the Johnsons have their elephant for hire business.  That sounded familiar. So I went back into my files. Ah, here it is; I posted about lion meat hamburgers available at a Tuscon, Arizona restaurant. Source of the lion meat? Perris, California. Tuscon Restaurant Serves Lion Meat Tacos. I have no idea if there is a connection between the lion meat and the Johnsons; I'm not saying there is one, only that the town of Perris, California seems to be the area for gratuitous indulgences with animals. There's more. Seems Have Trunk Will Travel was sued for animal abuse and fraud, according to this article in Animal Defenders International:
Los Angeles, Monday June 27, 2011 -- Today, in the US District Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles, Animal Defenders International (ADI), together with members of the public, Gail Profant and Leslie Hemstreet, filed suit against Have Trunk Will Travel, as well as the owners Gary and Kari Johnson, over their claims about the training of the elephant Tai, who played Rosie in the film ‘Water for Elephants’. The suit is based on erroneous assurances that the defendants gave the public that the elephant Tai was trained with kindness for her role in Water for Elephants. Video footage released by Animal Defenders International (ADI) showed Tai and other elephants being electric shocked with a stun gun and jabbed and hit will bull hooks during her training for the same types of tricks seen in the movie, at the Perris, CA ranch of Have Trunk Will Travel.

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