Tina and Jewel are Safe, but Queenie Still Needs Help

Remember Tina, Jewel and Queenie who weren’t having any fun at the circus? If you missed them before, you can read about them here.

Long story short, In Defense of Animals (IDA) had been following these three Asian elephants who were part of the Shrine Circus, under the care of William Davenport, who has been cited on multiple animal welfare violations in addition to being responsible for an accident where children were injured during an elephant ride.

A USDA inspection last April found these elephants were significantly underweight and unhealthy, in addition to having inconclusive test results for tuberculosis, which can spread to humans.

After a receiving pressure from the public, the USDA and FWS finally confiscated Tina and Jewel, who are now living at the San Diego Zoo where they’ll be receiving the care and medical attention they need.

Unfortunately, Queenie was left behind in Texas with Davenport, who should clearly not be left in charge of anything, let alone an animal.  IDA is still concerned with Queenie’s welfare, and recounts the heartbreaking scene of Queenie, “chained to a tree in Texas, swaying neurotically behind Will Davenport after the truck carrying Tina and Jewel to the San Diego Zoo had pulled away.”

You Can Help!!

IDA is still working hard to see Queenie moved to a sanctuary where she can spend the rest of her days. Please take a moment to make a phone call for Queenie today!

IDA recommends the following talking points when you make your call:

  • The many outstanding legal issues regarding Will Davenport’s conduct (including his defiance of a federal order during USDA’s first confiscation attempt on August 15) provide a clear avenue for them to help Queenie.
  • You hold the agency directly responsible for Queenie’s welfare. After all she has been through, Queenie must be retired from public display and sent to either the PAWS sanctuary in California or The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Since Queenie has no pressing health issues requiring intensive veterinary care, she can go immediately to a sanctuary. There is no excuse for sending her to a zoo.
  • It is inconceivable that the agency would leave Queenie in the “care” of Davenport, who has racked up countless Animal Welfare Act violations since receiving his USDA exhibitor’s license just two years ago.

USDA Contact Information: 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: 202-720-3631

Acting APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea
Phone: 202-720-3861

You can also contact your elected officials and ask them to support Queenie’s rescue. Their contact information can be found here.

For more information about how to help elephants, visit helpelephants.com

creative commons


Past Member
Past Member 2 years ago

et voilà, la pauvre Queenie est morte. Toutes ces tergiversations ne l'ont jamais aidée.
ça fait des années que je suis cette triste affaire .and now, poor Queenie died. All these prevarications have never helped.
it's been years that I have this sad affair

Jane Way
jay way8 years ago


Julie D.
Julie D8 years ago

I'm in the U.K so can't 'phone USDA but This poor elephant should really be reunited with the other 2 female elephants in a suitable caring environment where they may live out their lives more naturally. To anyone who has yet to read "Silent Thunder" by Katy Payne (it covers research of elephants' infra-sound communication)- please get hold of a copy (I think it's currently out of print). elephants in captivity in zoos and circuses live short c.30 years, lives in misery due to the destruction of their social structure and confinement. Their life expectancy is even less than elephants working in logging camps in Asia. Wild animals should not be held captive in circuses any more.

Lanny Zelkin
Lanny Zelkin8 years ago

What can "WE" do to help get Queenie and her sisters released ---and perhaps sent & taken in by the WONDERFUL Elephant Sanctuary in Tenn. which I support ??? Can she be bought from this sleezeball owner by contributions from concerned elephant lovers???

Laura S.
Laura S8 years ago

It is now the middle of October and I too, am still waiting to hear about what is happening with Queenie! I have heard no news, and also, no response for each letter I wrote.

Sher M.
sheryl m8 years ago

Its now September 25th and still no new news of Queenie's state of affairs. Is anyone doing anything about her? I sent a letter, faxed it, no answer of course. I am so concerned for Queenie baby !!!

Marcel C.
Marcel C8 years ago

Elephants, so majestic.

Leni M.
Leni M8 years ago

I absolutely agree with Melissa, for this is absurd in that why not take all three elephants at the same time, why just two and then leave Queenie with this man who has all these animal violations against him that he should be placed in a cage. I also would love to see the end to animals being forced to perform in circuses - this should be banned worldwide for these animals suffer in silence and most of the time, their stories are not heard. Circus animals go through another type of hell and the more people are aware and educated and protest then hopefully our government officials will hear these pleas. Another beautiful and intelligent animal with awesome characteristics that outshine these abusers for female elephants are one of the best mothers around, and if a mom is not well the aunts, grans etc., pick up the baby care immediately. These hurtful humans should take stock of animals and what great strengths they can teach them and hopefully something good would enter their souls and these kinds of abuse would stop....

Sher M.
sheryl m8 years ago

I PRAY Queenie is holding on. That poor lady, GET HER SAFE and REUNITED with TINA and JEWEL !!!

Melissa K.
Melissa K8 years ago

I think this article has purposely been made very brief and doesn't include the whole story. So, I am pretty sure that the results of the lawsuit did not include the confiscation of all 3 elephants. Which is why the organization,IDA, is asking for a groundswell of support as foundation for an additional law suit, to pressure/force the release Queenie, the last elephant with this reprehensible "circus" group.