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PLZ TAKE ACTION; FREE JUMBO- She Has Spent Her Entire Life as a Circus Slave.

Animals  (tags: jumbo, new zealand zoo, elephant, suffering, imprisoned, safe, animal welfare, against animal exploitation, animal cruelty )

- 3539 days ago -
Jumbo's plight For years Jumbo's life-long handler and owner of Whirling Brothers Circus, Tony Ratcliffe, stated publicly that Jumbo would be retired to a sanctuary or zoo once the circus closed down. When the circus started retiring some of its


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Simone Duffin (1462)
Monday January 12, 2009, 5:14 am
Jumbo's plight

For years Jumbo's life-long handler and owner of Whirling Brothers Circus, Tony Ratcliffe, stated publicly that Jumbo would be retired to a sanctuary or zoo once the circus closed down. When the circus started retiring some of its animals in 2007 Ratcliffe admitted that Jumbo "Would be better off with other elephants" and expressed sadness at the thought of saying goodbye to her. SAFE thought it was finally all over - Jumbo would at last be with her own kind and have space to roam at a sanctuary or zoo. Instead, Jumbo was sold to Loritz Circus and Ratcliffe now works for the circus managing Jumbo.

For over three decades Jumbo has been kept in solitary confinement, denied the company of other elephants. Elephants are extremely gregarious, forming strong social bonds. Scientific research shows that elephants deprived of the company of other elephants suffer from stress and boredom.

Jumbo is deprived of sufficient space and stimulation. Elephants in the wild roam vast distances spending much of their days feeding, bathing, grooming and engaging in social activities. Jumbo is restricted to a trailer or small fenced area.

Loritz Circus - a "sad" circus

The Loritz Circus keeps Jumbo along with miniature ponies, donkeys, a llama and a goat. Their ‘Out of Africa' theme depicts Kenyan performers as natives, and while some of their human circus acts are skilful, their animal acts only serve to demonstrate the way humans dominate and use other animals.

The Loritz Circus performance lasts a little over one hour. SAFE investigators attending the performance noted the circus appeared more "sad" than glamorous. They observed ponies running around the arena urged on by a whip-welding handler. Jumbo's 5-minute routine consists of her walking around, hopping across the arena and climbing up onto a step under the direction of Ratciffe who was observed using a stick. SAFE's campaign officer Sacha Dowell says while the video footage of the performance appears harmless enough closer scrutiny raises serious concerns.

"If you look closely at the footage, the ‘stick' in Ratcliffe's hand has a sharp metal hook on the end which is called a bullhook. If Jumbo miscues what she is suppose to do during the act, it's a prod in the side with the hook," says Sacha. "What does this teach children and adults alike about the way we should be treating animals?"

"Thanks to our investigators, we have documented that Jumbo remains confined in her trailer for prolonged periods and constantly sways left and right. This stereotypic behaviour is a typical sign associated with psychological distress. Jumbo is also tethered by her foot to a short metal chain while in the trailer which must be extremely frustrating for her," says Sacha.

SAFE understands Loritz Circus has invested $300,000 building a new trailer for Jumbo however the actual ‘liveable' space Jumbo has is estimated to be 3 by 5 metres. The rest of the trailer appears to be used for storage for supplies. SAFE has serious doubts about the fate of Jumbo if left in her present condition.

"For over three decades, Jumbo has suffered day in and day out simply to ‘entertain' circus goers for a few minutes during each performance. We have no right to force this majestic animal to be degraded and abused. We must end Jumbo's suffering by freeing her from the Loritz Circus and sending her to a sanctuary," Says Sacha.

Simone Duffin (1462)
Monday January 12, 2009, 6:14 am
She lives in a prison only 3 by 5 metres. That is pure utter torture, bloody disgusting.

Mirella Burgess (75)
Monday January 12, 2009, 6:36 am
Emails sent.
I agree bloody disgusting, they were put on this planet to roam freely, not as a show piece
Thanks Simone.

Kathy W (299)
Monday January 12, 2009, 7:59 pm
Thank you for adding this information about Jumbo, Simone. (You rock). :)

Kathy W (299)
Monday January 12, 2009, 8:05 pm
Forgot to tell you, emails sent.
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