No Fun at the Circus for Tina, Jewel and Queenie

In Defense of Animals (IDA) has been following the lives of Tina, Jewel and Queenie, three Asian elephants who are currently part of the Shrine Circus.

What IDA has found, three sick and miserable elephants, isn’t much of a surprise. However, what is surprising is that after years of documented violations of federal law reported to the USDA, nothing has been done.

Last week Tina, Jewel and Queenie were tracked to the Melha Shrine Circus in Springfield, MA, where the SPCA was called in to investigate the situation at which point they called for one elephant to be withheld from performing due to ill health. Test results for tuberculosis, which can spread to humans, were also inconclusive.

Will Davenport, the elephant’s handler, has also been cited by the USDA for multiple animal welfare violations in addition to being responsible for an accident where children were injured during an elephant ride. Where is the accountability here?

“A USDA inspection report dated April 4, 2009 documents that all three elephants have lost significant amounts of weight.  For Tina and Jewel, this is the second time in two years that they have experienced severe weight loss under Davenport’s “care.” Jewel has lost over 700 pounds and is in “poor body condition and very underweight”. Tina and Queenie have lost over 500 pounds each. Tina and Jewel are below the traveling weights recommended by the veterinary expert on whose recommendation USDA returned the elephants to the road in September 2007,” according to IDA.

Elephants, and other animals, don’t belong in circuses where they’re forced to perform silly uncomfortable tricks for the amusement of circus goers. For more info on the lives of circus elephants and a list of animal free circuses, check out

Take Action for Tina, Jewel and Queenie!

Please take a minute to ask the USDA to remove Tina, Jewel and Queenie from the circus and let them live out their lives in a sanctuary. 


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Lynn D.
Lynn D5 years ago

But they need to be healthy first - don't want them contaimanting other elephants --- animals belong free and in the wild or in a protected part of what would be a natural habitat for them!

Cindy L.
Cindy L5 years ago

Despicable humans those who profit from circuses with performing animals! One day you will pay for all the suffering you have inflicted on those innocent animals. I won't ever pay to see any of those circuses! I instead attend circuses that have human performers. At least, if they are mistreated they can always resign that job and find another one, but what about animals? May all the circus' owners experience the same pain X10 they have inflicted on the innocent animal performers.

Primora Harahap
Primora Harahap8 years ago

Take all animals away from any kind of abusive environment.
Circus is one of that abusive center.
Bring them back to their natural habitat.
They deserve to have a normal life like a human needs.

Barbara S.

Please be aware there is a traveling circus thast goes by the name of COLE Bros. It calles itself the Worlds largest circus under the Big top. This is also one of those circus's that has a record of animal abuse. They were in Del.

Barbara S.

The USDA is a farce. This government agency does NOT protect animals. Some years ago I tried to get help for a elephant that was in a rundown roadside zoo in Fla. but they were not interested. I later found out the poor thing died probably of starvation.

Maria Teresa Suplico

As a child, I watched several circus acts and was fascinated by bareback riders on horses and elephants who could balance themselves phenomenally. But now that I know that elephants aren't being cared for properly in circuses, I vote to let them stay in sanctuaries! In fact, all other wild animals in circuses such as lions, tigers, etc should be given an appropriate home each and not be paraded around with whipping and other similar methods of controlling their behavior just to please a paying crowd. I know I'd be happy to watch acrobats and other performers just as agile even without the wild animals.

Leonie D.
Leonie D.8 years ago

The circus does not need animal acts for entertainment. The animals are put through a lot of stress and not one of them are happy. If humans need to entertain themselves, then they should be happy with the circus act being made up of only humans.

Valentina Z.
Valentina Z.8 years ago


Janet Rose C.
Janet Rose C8 years ago

When I was very young my family took me to the circus. The most exciting part of the performances was when an elephant urinated. It took me by surprise of how large the waterfall was. Every time that circus was mentioned I would tell the story of the elephant making a waterfall. That was the only circus presentation I saw, that was carried out with animals.
I thought that there were no more circuses with animals, that they were made up of great human accomplishments.
It is apalling that these so called animal trainers make these impressive, majestic, dignified beasts of the wild act out such unnatural, peverted behaviour.
The elephant is the greatest of the jungle. The only obstacle or hindrance in its way is man himself with his elephant gun and as it seems to be "progress". How can they take away its dignaty?
The lion is "The King of the Jungle", All Majesty, Regal and Proud, Very Distinguished above other creatures. Lions need to be with their pride in their natural habitat.
I could rattle on and on, but what I am trying to point out is how cruel this conduct is and all that it produces is sick, gloomy, heartbreaking God's creatures which are pining to be with their own breed to reproduce and to live normally, of what God intended in the first place.
Yours sincerely
Janet Colley

Jennifer E.
Jennifer E8 years ago

When will animal acts be outlawed from circuses? I especially hate knowing the animals are sick and/or abused for the sake of this perverted 'entertainment.' When the elephants DO finally fight back they are murdered for it.
Don't get me started on the USDA-I trust them as much as a 3 dollar bill!