Anne, the 57 year-old UK circus elephant who was shown being beaten in a shocking video released last month, will get to spend the rest of her life at a wildlife sanctuary.
The elderly and arthritic Asian elephant has been part of the Bobby Roberts Super Circus for more than 50 years, but when a video released by Animal Defenders International showed her being hit 48 times by her caretaker, the circus agreed to sign over custody to Longleat Safari Park.
According to the Daily Mail,
“Anne will move to her new home within a week and will have three experienced elephant keepers, as well as an elephant specialist, on hand to attend to her every need.
She will live with a herd of rhinos in a large purpose-built enclosure that previously housed five elephants but will have a separate area all to herself.
The ailing elephant, Europe’s oldest, will also have the run of an 80-acre enclosure and a series of paddocks and meadows, as well as water pools, if her arthritis allows.”
Moira Roberts who owns the circus with her husband Bobby insist they love Anne “like a child” and would never do anything to hurt her.
The say they are only guilty of poor judgment when they hired Nicolae Nitu, the employee who beat the elephant. Roberts said watching the film and seeing Anne suffer “broke her heart.”
Roberts also told the Daily Mail, “For the last two years, we have asked many places to rehouse her. But we didn’t get any help.”
Jan Creamer, Chief Executive with ADI said in a previous story the excuses given by the Roberts’ were typical of what happens each time the animal rights group exposes cruelty and abuse to circus animals.
The Roberts have come under much criticism since the video was released. They’ve had to increase security at performances and worry the circus may have to close.
Meanwhile Anne is under the care of a veterinarian for her severe arthritis and other health concerns.
She is responding well, but the operations director of Longleat said there is a possibility the elephant may have to be put down if her condition gets worse.
All parties are taking it day by day to see how Anne responds.
Creamer said, “We are extremely glad that Annie’s rescue is underway and that Mr. Roberts has agreed to allow her to be relocated to Longleat.”
ADI is campaigning for a ban on using wild animals in UK circuses. The group was instrumental in getting a ban implemented in Bolivia.
Thanks you to all of our Care2 members who took action and showed their concern for Annie. We are so glad to see that her future looks bright.
RELATED STORY: Shocking Video of Britain’s Oldest Circus Elephant Beaten
photo from Animal Defenders International