and please cross post, ask your friends to sign, take this to myspace and other sites. PLEASE these girls have suffered for so long.
to visit the elephant sanctuary go to www.elephants.com
Get Tina and Jewel Out of the Circus
Urge USDA to send suffering elephants to a sanctuary now
Tina and Jewel are Asian elephants in their early forties who have endured lives of hardship and abuse traveling with the Cole Brothers Circus. They were ordered off the road by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this year, following many months of being observed to be looking gaunt, sick and broken. They are now enduring conditions that will only damage what remains of their fragile health. Please help us get these elephants sanctuary.
USDA inspection reports on both Tina and Jewel document the abusive and negligent treatment to which these elephants have been subjected over the past decade and a half. They have been beaten with bullhooks and other objects like a baseball bat and PVC pipe, and had their medical needs ignored, resulting in severe weight loss, among other problems. The circus did not even perform legally-required testing for tuberculosis, endangering both the health of the elephants and the people who are in contact with them.
Life under these abusive conditions has taken its toll on Tina and Jewel. During the summer and fall of 2006, while traveling with Cole Brothers Circus, both elephants appeared unhealthy and dramatically thinner than usual. In spring 2007, they reappeared in the L.E. Barnes and Bailey Circus looking even worse.
In March 2007, the USDA ordered that Jewel be taken off the road, noting that she had lost an appalling 2,000 pounds. A veterinary expert confirmed that both elephants had suffered "alarming weight loss" and advised taking both elephants off the road immediately for urgent veterinary care.
Following this order, Jewel and Tina disappeared from public view. After months of searching, IDA located them on July 25th in rural Texas at an unapproved facility owned by the Davenports, another family with a history of horrible animal abuse who have been leasing Tina and Jewel from Cole since January 2006.
When IDA located the elephants, they had already spent several months confined to a tiny outdoor yard enclosed by electrical hotwire, surrounded by circus refuse and other garbage, or locked inside a dilapidated tin barn. There was no shade outside and no ventilation inside, and no water to drink or cool off with in the Texas summer. IDA has since learned that a window has been cut into the barn for ventilation and that Tina and Jewel have been given access to a slightly larger outdoor enclosure. Still, the conditions remain grim and woefully inadequate for these two ailing elephants.
Four of five other elephants that have been "retired" from the Cole Bros. Circus have died, most within weeks of being taken off the road. IDA is gravely concerned that Jewel and Tina will meet the same fate if they are left at the mercy of an industry with a long history of abusing elephants and violating federal animal welfare laws. Both elephants have lost significant amounts of weight, but whatever condition is causing this remains undiagnosed, and untreated. Tina and Jewel's survival is at stake, and they desperately need our help now!
What You Can Do
1) Please "Take Action" to urge your federal representative to ask the USDA to intervene on Tina and Jewel's behalf. You can also contact your elected officials by phone and postal mail.
2) Please "Take Action" to demand that the USDA immediately confiscate these two elephants and send them to The Elephant Sanctuary (TE in Tennessee, a USDA-approved quarantine facility for elephants that has a proven track record of rehabilitating elephants who have become debilitated from years of life in the circus or zoo. To have the most impact, edit the sample letter to express your personal point of view and print it out as a letter to mail.
The Honorable Mike Johanns
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Tel: (202) 720-3631
3) Learn more about what Tina and Jewel have suffered at the hands of the circus industry.Please call Jim Rogers and beg and plead with him to confiscate Tina and Jewel under the provisions of the Federal Animal Welfare Act
(use points from USDA's own inspection findings below - shocking conditions the USDA found these elephants in. They are old, its time to retire them.
JIM ROGERS' TELEPHONE NUMBER: 301-734-0603
CC: your emails to:Jim.D.Rogers@usda.gov
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
Phone: (970) 494-7478
Tina and Jewel in TX where they are warehoused in a tiny yard:
May 6, 2004: Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus announces that they have changed their name to the New Cole Brothers Circus and will discontinue using elephants in their shows. However, they state that they will continue to rent out their two remaining elephants, Tina and Jewel, for television commercials and other performances, including Republican Party events.
In fact, Tina and Jewel and their trainer were almost immediately sent on tour with the Walker Brothers Circus. Just over a month prior, Walker Brothers’ owner John Caudill, Jr. and elephant trainer John Caudill III pled guilty in a federal administrative court to 18 violations of the minimal standards of care in the federal AWA. The Caudills were ordered to pay a $25,000 fine, and their circus exhibitor’s license was suspended for five years. The USDA had charged Walker Bros. and its employees with causing physical harm and discomfort; failing to provide veterinary care to an emaciated elephant, an elephant suffering from severe chemical burns and a bacterial infection, and several elephants with potentially deadly foot problems; unsafe public contact; and operating without a USDA exhibitor’s license.
June 23, 2004: The USDA cites Cole (in an inspection of its animals on tour with Walker Brothers Circus) for failing to handle animals “in a manner that does not cause trauma, overheating, excessive cooling, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort” and for violating the regulation which states that “Physical abuse shall not be used to train, work or otherwise handle animals.” The Massachusetts Environmental Police had received a report that three witnesses had observed a circus employee hitting an elephant about the head and face. The elephant gave a grunt and then a high pitched sound. The USDA sent three inspector-veterinarians to investigate this complaint. An elephant handler, questioned by USDA officials, admitted that he had hit Jewel several times with a piece of 1” plastic pipe. “He said that he did not hit the elephant hard enough to hurt it because the plastic/PVC pipe did not break.” The inspectors noted an area of abnormal looking skin over the bony areas of Jewel’s forehead and an area of red tissue over her left eye.
Cole is also cited for failing to employ an attending veterinarian, for not having a signed Program of Veterinary Care, for not adequately describing its method of euthanasia, and for the absence of TB tests on two new employees who worked around the elephants.
In addition, Cole is also criticized for not promptly notifying the regional USDA office of its name change. According to the USDA report, Cole is now known as the American Circus.
July 30, 2004: Gigi’s Exotics pays an $1,100 fine in a settlement agreement with the USDA for violations of the AWA in 2002, 2003, and 2004, at least some of which are related to the care of an elephant named Boo. Violations include “failure to provide adequate veterinary care, failure to maintain proper records on animals… failure to handle animals in a manner that does not cause trauma, overheating, excessive cooling, behavior stress, physical harm or unnecessary discomfort… failure to provide appropriate methods to prevent, control, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries for the elephant named Boo (and) failure to maintain transport enclosure free from any protrusions that could be injurious to the animals.”
March 2005: The USDA inspects Carson and Barnes Circus’ winter quarters in Hugo, Okla., where Boo was being kept for the winter. The report stated: “No one from Gigi’s Exotics present.”
April 1, 2005: Springfield (Ill.) Journal-Register reports on consumer complaints against Bailey Brothers Circus, which also has appeared as Great Circus of China, in Alaska and Illinois. Paperwork in Alaska was filed for Bailey Brothers Circus under the name “Juan Davenport,” and in Illinois, paperwork for Great Circus of China was filed under the name “Charles Davenport.” Both circuses included the Davenport elephant Queenie in their act.
August 27, 2005: Tina and Jewel, still owned by Cole (American) tour the country with Florida-based Wambold’s Circus Menagerie. While in Mt. Pleasant Township, Pa. and made available for petting and feeding by the public, Jewel grabbed a woman’s wrist and sprained it badly.
January 13, 2006: The USDA cites Gigi’s Exotics for AWA violation related to the structural soundness of a trailer used to transport Boo and a horse (in separate compartments).
January 17, 2006: Gigi’s Exotics signs a five-year lease for Tina and Jewel, stating, “We plan to incorporate the elephants into our breeding program, performance and rides. Gigi’s Exotics accepts responsibility for the health, welfare and mortality of said elephants.”
January 27, 2006: Texas Attorney General files consumer fraud/deceptive business practices charges against Juan Davenport, Bailey Brothers Circus, and several other defendants who “collectively operate a circus show under the names of “Kings Royal Circus,” “The Great Circus of China,” “Bailey/ Wallace and Bros. Circus, Inc.,” “Barnes and Bailey Bros. Circus, Inc.,” “Bailey Bros. Circus,” “Barnes & Bailey Circus,” and “Barnes and Bailey Bros. Circus.”
February 2006: Gigi’s Exotics (a.k.a. American All-Star Circus) is investigated for consumer fraud and AWA violations, according to a memo from Sgt. Keith Bond of Jackson County, Miss.
February 22, 2006: Gigi’s Exotics is on the road with Boo, Tina, Jewel, and two camels.
Summer 2006: Tina and Jewel travel with Cole Brothers Circus, accompanied by trainer Will Jacobs Davenport. During this time, this review appears on the blog of circus fan Crash Moreau:
COLE BROTHERS CIRCUS W. Hartford, N.Y. June 11
“This is a nice looking show with a large red and yellow tent and painted trucks. This year the show had a much better line up of acts compared to the past few years. This year at selected performances the elephants has (sic) returned now owned by Gopher Davenport and handled by his son. The only thing I can say is young Davenport needs to put away the bull-hook on these two elephants as Adam Hill never used the hook on these two in previous years. All the animal rights people need is to see how he is handling these two elephants, Tina and Jewel and there will be a lot more flax (sic) about not having animals in circuses.”
October 24, 2006: The USDA inspects Gigi’s Exotics and cites them for inadequate veterinary care: “I observed two Asian elephants, Tina (40 yrs.) and Jewell (42 yrs.). Jewel appears to be underweight. The muscling along both sides of her spine appears sunken or hollowed out. Her spine is very prominent. The handler states that he has “not noted any weight loss and that she had an injury several years ago. In addition, there appears to be very little muscling over the eyes. Although the handler stated that this is her ’normal‘ conformation there are no records other than the health certificate and TB results available for me to review documenting her past or current health status.”
Winter 2007: Tina and Jewel travel with the L.E. Barnes and Bailey Circus; their names are given to the public and the media as Margaret and Lilley. L.E. Barnes and Bailey circus performs 640 shows per year.
February 16, 2007: The USDA inspects Gigi’s Exotics at Heritage Park in Watkinsville, Ga. in conjunction with L.E. Barnes and Bailey Circus. Tina, Jewel, and Boo are present.
The inspectors note numerous violations, including:
- Inadequate veterinary care – According to the report, Jewell is “noticeably thin.” Comparison of photographs taken by the USDA between October 2006 and February 2007 indicated that she was “chronically thin.” Although handler was instructed in November 2006 by the USDA to weigh Jewel, no weight is available until February 2007. “The animal’s weight most be monitored at least monthly to assess her progress”
- TB records outdated– The most recent trunk wash results are dated November 29, 2005. “Because TB can be a cause of chronic weight loss, it is imperative that the elephants are tested in timely manner.”
- Failure to handle animals properly to insure minimal risk of harm to animals and people – Boo is placed in a corral and the public is allowed to walk up to the edge and toss in carrots. Small children are noted in the open area of the corral while the handler is distracted.
March 2, 2007: Gigi’s Exotics objects to the February 16 USDA inspection report. In a letter, Gigi’s Exotics claims that Jewel was examined and tested by Dr. Ted Eudy (flown in from Oklahoma). The circus claims health reports, including trunk wash results, were given to the USDA, and cites an inspection from November 2006 that found no non-compliance.
March 14, 2007: The USDA upholds findings of the February 16 inspection, noting the trunk wash samples for TB testing were unacceptable and that the only TB test results are from 2005. The USDA’s letter also stated, “considering Jewel’s unthrifty condition and chronic weight loss, the failure to obtain a weight in a timely manner jeopardized her health and indicated a clear failure to provide adequate veterinary care and monitoring of her condition.”
March 17, 2007: The USDA inspection notes Gigi’s Exotics continued violation for inadequate veterinary care. Jewel remains “noticeably thin.” Her weight was taken only twice (she weighed between 6,600 and 6,800 pounds). The weight loss remains undiagnosed. Current TB trunk wash results are still unavailable. “Travel restrictions and prohibiting public contact with these elephants is necessary to ensure the health of both the elephants and the public by minimizing the potential spread of tuberculosis. In the absence of a clear diagnosis of Jewel’s weight loss, and the potential for tuberculosis or some other unknown disease being present, it would be inappropriate for her to travel.”
March 30, 2007: Gigi’s Exotics receives a damning USDA inspection in Pueblo, Colo. Numerous violations are noted, including inadequate veterinary care (e.g., no program for appropriate skin and foot care); inadequate training of elephant handler; failure to handle elephant in manner that does not cause excessive trauma, stress, physical harm, and unnecessary discomfort; inadequate record keeping; and failure to maintain appropriate primary enclosures for transport. The elephant described in this report is not identified.
The USDA finds an elephant with “excessive dead skin over most of her body and doesn’t show evidence of proper bathing for quite some time. She has urine staining and what appears to be urine scalds on her back legs. The pads on this elephant had excessive growth and there were numerous flaps of skin that had trapped debris in them. The cuticles were also excessively long.”
The elephant also has “multiple wounds draining yellowish exudates inside the left ear” that handlers had not reported. Wounds would be “consistent with the improper use of an ankus in the ear.”
The handler is found to be “not properly trained or experienced.” He was trained in November/December 2006 by a handler who had “worked with horses a little but had no animal handling, husbandry experience or training. Back-up handler had no elephant experience. Previously did construction work. He feeds, waters, handles the elephants and is the loader for rides.”
The handler “had trouble getting [the elephant] to consistently do basic things like pick her feet up for exam. He had to prod her excessively with the ankus (bullhook) to get the desired behavior and sometimes could not get the behavior completed. The handler was not able to demonstrate adequate control of elephant.”
The USDA also documents physical abuse. “The handler had to continuously rely on excessive and inappropriate use of the ankus to get the elephant to perform the behaviors he was asking for during the rides and performances. . . during the rides and performances, the handler was observed repeatedly jabbing and hitting the elephant with the ankus. Several times during the elephant ride, the handler used the ankus to hit the elephant and she reacted by throwing her head and changing her gait demonstrating irritation at the action of the handler. . . This is inappropriate and abusive use of the ankus and such use is likely to cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm or unnecessary discomfort . . . This type of inappropriate use can cause the elephants to become more aggressive.”
The USDA also reports reported public endangerment through abusive bullhook use, lack of control over elephant, and allowing children to sit on the floor in front of an elephant who was confined behind an inadequate barrier with a handler who was distracted. At one point, a child was actually let into the elephant’s enclosure to retrieve a balloon. No handler was present at that time.
Other transgressions included: No one on staff being able tell the USDA inspector where the licensee (Gigi Davenport) was at time of inspection; no health records were on hand; immobilization drugs for emergency restraint of elephants were labeled for “yellow cats,” and handler had no idea how to use the dart gun to administer the drugs.
April 10, 2007: USDA inspects Gigi’s Exotics at New Bern, N.C. and again cites the operation for inadequate veterinary care. Jewel is still thin, weighing 220 lbs. less on April 8 than when her last weight was taken on March 11. “TB cultures were taken and were negative. Jewel is not gaining weight despite an apparently adequate diet. The cause of her being underweight is still undiagnosed. She was last seen by the attending vet at the end of Jan. 2007. Because of the stress of traveling, a second opinion from another veterinarian who specialized in elephants is needed at this time. . .”
April 12, 2007: -- USDA orders Jewel off the road, warning, “continued travel by Jewel for exhibition, including travel with the circus, even if not performing, would constitute a violation of Sec. 2.40 until such time as her condition has been adequately evaluated and/or there is measurable improvement in her weight and overall health. Travel to a facility appropriate for long-term holding, or to a facility suited to evaluation and diagnosis of her health issues would be appropriate.”
April 16, 2007: USDA inspects Gigi’s Exotics at New Ulm, Minn. One elephant (Boo) and two camels are present. The circus is cited again for failure to handle animals in a manner that would minimize potential harm to animals and the public. No elephant handler “with appropriate training and experience traveling with this group. . . Safe public exhibition and handling cannot take place without a knowledgeable individual or individuals present.”
May 15, 2007: USDA again cites Gigi’s for inadequate veterinary care, and reports findings of specialist in elephant health called in by Cole Brothers to examine Tina and Jewel in Greenville, N.C. on April 23, 2007. “The expert determined that both elephants showed an alarming amount of weight loss and that Jewel was not fit to continue traveling with the circus. The expert felt that both elephants should be kept together and should be moved to the winter quarters for Cole Brothers in Deland, Fla. where they could be closely monitored and have access to veterinarians experienced in elephant health. Expert recommended switch in diet to gain weight and advised that feeding amounts provided and eaten should be recorded.”
In early May the elephants were moved to Leggett, Texas instead of Florida – “Not an approved site location,” according to the USDA. Inspection of the Leggett site reveals that no daily logs of feed are being maintained. The health of the elephants is further jeopardized because the facility does not meet minimum standards for long-term housing due to its incompletion of the primary enclosure and shelter. Animals must be housed in a trailer during inclement weather. Moving to Texas instead of Florida “added additional stress due to the longer transit time.” Weights taken on May 14: Jewel 6,880 lbs. and Tina 7,620 lbs.. These are slight weight gains, but it is too early to tell if they are significant. Management states that the attending veterinarian had visited, but no records were available to document this claim. Immobilization drugs are stored in a lock box filled with water from a leak. The USDA states that “At this time there is no valid home site for this license.”
June 5, 2007: USDA again cites Gigi’s for inadequate veterinary care and facilities violations. “The lack of a permanent long term housing facility that provides adequate shelter and enclosures jeopardizes the health of the animals and hinders their ability to gain weight. Lack of sufficient ventilation in the barn housing the elephants can contribute to heat related stress that would also adversely affect their health.”
Elephants are restrained through hotwires and chaining. Facility lacks “adequate permanent enclosures for elephants.” It also lacks adequate shade, and the barn lacks sufficient ventilation.
Gigi’s Exotics is given until July 5, 2007 to correct the violations.
July 17, 2007: Gigi Davenport sends email to circus list entitled, “My Wonderfull (sic) Son "Will" which reads: “He is an amazing person, his love for these animals is nothing less than a gift from God. He has suffered from people making ugly judgments to his qualifications. Being born and raised in the circus and around animals all his life. Common sense, book smart and animal sense, he has it all. God Bless him. He is an amazing young man and hasn't done anything wrong. I pray everyday that God will let the USDA see the truth and tell us (what it is) and take that ugly cloud off my son's head and just let him do what comes so very natural to him, taking care and loving these incredible animals.”
July 25, 2007: IDA obtains photographic evidence of elephants living in squalid conditions at the Davenport facility in Leggett, Tex. There is no indication that the violations cited by USDA have been corrected, despite the fact that the corrections deadline has passed 20 days before. The eyewitness report provided to IDA states,
“We located Jewel and Tina at a circus approved 'holding area'...and they were far worse than we'd anticipated. . . Tina and Jewel are living every day on a concrete slab surrounded by building debris and half-burned garbage. Their hard slab-estimated at a mere 12' x 24' is surrounded by electrified wire—and they know this, evident by their fear of standing anywhere close to the perimeter. The cramped girls seemed to huddle together as not to accidentally hit the hot-wire, staying at least 3' from the shock. . . Their condition? Emaciated. The photographic images reveal Tina and Jewel's sunken faces and sad eyes. Facts:
- Both elephants were underweight.
- There was no access to water.
- There was no evidence of other food-types such as fresh browse or produce, only a bit of hay.
- Their 'walking'/living area is approximately 12' X 24' which upon observation is reduced to approximately 9' X 21' given the 3' 'fear-zone' of the electrified wire.
- There was no structural shade from the sun with the exception of some trees.
- They both exhibited stereotypical neurotic behavior of rocking, and one of the girls' back left foot is being treated for thrush—she was lifting it and looking at her foot.
- If there was a structure provided for night-housing or protection from harsh weather, it may have been the old shed located next to the hot-wire corral. This shed is dilapidated and very small with no evidence of proper ventilation.
- As one drives from the county road onto the driveway, Tina and Jewel are immediately to the left, approximately 20 yards from the access to the public. Left entirely unprotected and electrically penned like fish in a barrel, there are no measures to ensure their safety—or that of the public.”
August 2007: Tina and Jewel are still at the Leggett facility. They have reportedly been given access to a larger outdoor area, still well under an acre in size, and windows for ventilation have been cut into the tiny tin barn in which they are frequently confined. The USDA continues to allow Tina and Jewel’s care to be directed by the same individuals who, as the agency has repeatedly documented, have failed to provide these ailing elephants with necessary veterinary care; have handled the elephants in an unsafe and inhumane manner; and left them in the care of an inexperienced and unskilled trainer. In addition, USDA is reportedly in possession of evidence documenting the illegal involvement of John Davenport (who lost his USDA exhibitor license in 1998), with Tina, Jewel and the third elephant, Queenie. The agency continues to do nothing to stop this alleged illegal activity.
MORE shocking reports from USDA:http://helpelephantsinzoos.org/feature_070905.html
Chaining of Clyde Beaty Elephant
The Life of A Circus Elephant
Sample Letter from KINSHIPCIRCLE.ORG 8:30 PM
CONTACT INFORMATION + SAMPLE LETTER
Chester A. Gipson, D.V.M., Deputy Administrator
4700 River Rd., Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
DVM Deputy Administrator Chester Gipson:
I respectfully ask USDA to seize Asian elephants Tina and Jewel and relocate them to a sanctuary as soon as possible. Please transfer the elephants to The Elephant Sanctuary where they may obtain appropriate nutritional/veterinary treatment from professional elephant caretakers.
As you know, Tina and Jewel have been under Cole Bros. Circus contract to perform at fairs and other venues. Now in their forties, they’ve spent their lives in chains, shackles, and grueling training sessions. In fact, USDA fined Cole Bros. $10,000 for tormenting its elephants with bullhooks.
Circumstances have worsened for Tina and Jewel. A complaint filed with USDA describes Jewel as emaciated. I thank USDA for subsequently withdrawing both elephants from road performances and identifying travel stress for Jewel as “detrimental to her health...”
In 2006 Cole Bros. leased Tina and Jewel to Gigi’s Exotics, and its proprietress Gigi Davenport, in Leggett, Texas. USDA inspection reports show a disturbing recurrence of Animal Welfare Act violations at this facility. One record "determined that both elephants showed an alarming amount of weight loss."
As recently as July 25, 2007, photographic evidence revealed elephants subsisting in a filthy setting. Tina and Jewel were seen on a nearly shade-less 12' x 24’ cement slab amid electrified wire, building debris and charred trash. Both appeared underweight with no access to water or adequate food sources. They displayed stereotypical neurotic actions such as rocking.
These animals are STILL at the Leggett property, housed in an area less than an acre in space and under the “care” of individuals cited for failure to provide sufficient veterinary aid. They are still with handlers documented for unsafe and inhumane procedures with elephants. Furthermore, I understand USDA has evidence verifying the illegal participation of John Davenport — whose USDA exhibitor license was revoked in 1998.
I encourage USDA to clamp down on alleged illegal activity and deliver Tina and Jewel from ongoing abuse and neglect. Please authorize the release of Tina and Jewel to The Elephant Sanctuary now.