Stop Circus Suffering

Circus elephants used for children’s rides go out of control

ADI has released film of elephants used for children’s rides fighting as workers try to control them with bullhooks, metal bars and stun guns.

Jordan World Circus elephants fight

Just weeks after a Bill to outlaw the use of wild animals in US circuses was introduced to Congress (Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act – H.R. 4525), ADI has released film of elephants used for children’s rides fighting as workers try to control them with bullhooks, metal bars and stun guns.

This latest video adds to the growing body of evidence on the danger of these cruel and outdated shows, where large and potentially dangerous animals are kept in collapsible, mobile and temporary facilities, in close proximity to the public.

One of the rampaging elephants featured in the video, Isa (owned by Carson & Barnes), has been reported to have escaped on more than one occasion.

In late March, three circus elephants escaped from Moolah Shrine Circus in St. Charles, Missouri. A number of cars were damaged but fortunately no one was hurt. Several people have been killed and injured by aggravated elephants in the US in the last few years.

The previously unreleased footage shows circus workers frantically trying to control the elephants as they run amok inside the UCCU Events Center at UVU Orem, Utah. Trainer Habib Omar and another elephant groom lash out at the elephants with bullhooks as they desperately try to contain them. Isa the elephant initially ignores the groom’s blows and charges into another elephant, believed to be called Bunny, easily driving the other elephant, weighing more than two tons, backwards.

Watch the video:

Despite this violent incident and the recent rampage in Missouri, the circus continues to give rides to children on these elephants.

Other ADI footage released of the elephants performing in Utah, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, shows that the animals are controlled with blows and jabs from an instrument known as a bullhook – a heavy bar with a metal hook on the end – as well as receiving electric shocks from a stun gun. Presenter Habib Omar can be seen to slip a stun gun from his pocket during performances and then give the elephants an electric shock.

ADI has sent complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). OSHA recently took SeaWorld to task for a wilful violation where it “should have recognized the inherent risk of allowing trainers to interact with potentially dangerous animals. …Nonetheless, it required its employees to work…where they were subject to dangerous behavior.”

H.R. 4525, The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), would reform the circus industry by eliminating wild animal acts from touring shows while allowing human performances and domesticated animals like horses and dogs to continue. With just a few minutes of the average 2-hour show featuring wild animals, it is a simple matter for the circuses to re-tool and re-shape their shows.

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  1. Ria Roolker-Bruijnesteijn · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    geen enkel dier hoort in een circus ,het is en tegen de natuur om dieren op te sluiten wreed om dieren gevangen te houden.

    1. CARMEN OWENS · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  2. ELKE SCHILLINGER · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    tiere gehören nicht in zirkusse und zoos!!
    ist absolute tierquälerei und nicht artgerechte haltung… sperrt die betreiber ein und lasst sie angaffen und zur öffentlichen belustigung kunststückchen machen,.. wollt mal sehen, wie die sich fühlen,.. ach und nicht vergessen mund zukleben!!

  3. elena marchi · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    basta basta basta sfruttare degli animali ….loro hanno il diritto della liberta’!!!!

  4. Mark · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This needs to stop all Elephants should be in a sanctuary now its cruel and if the people new the truth they would not go . Education need to be paramount teach children this is wrong and it may change ..

    1. Patricia Crawley · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

      I absolutely HATE this practice of using any animals in a circus type atmosphere, it’s quite horrific

  5. Estera · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Don’t take your children to the circus
    don’t show them this cruel show !!!!

    1. B.H. · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


    2. christine stöckli · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

      Please stop the suffer,pain and torture!close all circuses!!

  6. Gia · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Sad and Disgusting To Watch These Poor Animals Being So Badly Beaten etc !!!!

  7. MIRIAN SOARES · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  8. Barbara Stroth · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    if the trainers were stomped on by the elephants I wouldn’t shed a tear. those elephants deserve better then greedy money made at a circus at the expense of pain and torture. close all circuses

  9. Denice · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Need stop this mentally those elephants do not belong to the circus need free them to their wildlife .. I don’t support elephants in circus !!

  10. Gary Vernon · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop this disgusting act of cruelty now.

  11. Chrystine Vernon · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Show some humanity , stop this practise. Animals are not for our entertainment

  12. suzana michel · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This is so wrong on so many levels, STOP IT NOW!!!

  13. Helle · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Wild animals belong in the wild not in the entertainment industry

  14. B.H. · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  15. Mp · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Sadly people do know this goes on but simply turn a blind eye when it comes to entertaining their children!

    Seriously, these So called trainers can’t train themselves much less an animal 10 times their size..,, without abuse.

    If people don’t show then there is NO Show!

  16. Popi · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    There is just no question about this brutality needing to be put to an end. It does not require an educated man or even an emotionally intelligent man to comprehend that this is just simply wrong! all it requires is some consciousness, which these monsters lack! I am reduced to tears watching and knowing about these things and feeling powerless to be able to put it to an end. It must be put to an end!

  17. Judith Smith · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop this cruelty shut the circus down and free
    The animals to sanctuaries the circus is a
    Mask for cruelty and no place in society

  18. christine warman · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    The parents of these children must be mad to let their children ride these poor frustrated,tortured animals,these elephants should be living in a sanctuary not beaten into doing unatural stupid acts.If these animals turn,which they will, children could be killed,and no doubt the elephants will take the blame,this circus should be closed down before it all happens.

  19. linda wraight · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Animals do not belong in cages. Set them free.You would be angry if you were forced to do tricks, caged and abused for years.

  20. Lynn · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    There is simply no place for this! The animals behaving in this way is giving an obvious message that they are frustrated and out of control no matter how well “trained” the circus workers imagine they are. These workers have no understanding of animal behaviours, so of course they have no way to prevent such events happening when the animals are put in this very artificial situation. It needs to be stopped NOW. If people want to see circuses they can watch humans perform all sorts of entertaining tricks.

  21. GAYNOR WILSON · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This disgusting abuse needs to end. WTF is wrong with people!!!!

  22. lynette colbert · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  23. Michael Burke · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Not only is this a potential hazard to children and adults, but is especially a danger to the animals, themselves, who are beaten unmercifully by their “trainers” and then, as a result, if they show any temperament at all, are blamed for their “bad behavior” and receive further suffering. Please…NO MORE performing animals!

  24. Kat Feld · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Lets grow into being human- and stop the barbaric selfish practice of using and abusing animals!

  25. Kat Feld · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    lets stop this inhumane practice

  26. Boetsch · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    ce n’est pas la place des animaux peut importe lequel ,dans un cirque.Qu’on les laissent grandir et vivre dans leur habitat naturel!!

  27. Katherine Hershey · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    mans inhumanity to animals… all for money.

    i never go to the circus and hate the injustice on Elephants especially… why not a cirque du soleil type circus without using these beautiful animals?

  28. Lindsey Lamb · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop all animals being used in circuses!

  29. Melissa Deckard · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    So inhumane! These poor animals are stressed, sad and angry. I would be too!!! Please stop using animals in the circus that should be living in the wild or a sanctuary where they can be free to live as they should.

  30. karen clowes · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This is absolutely disgusting, when will these circus people ever learn, it is cruel and abhorrent to keep these wonderful creatures like this. They are beaten and treated dreadfully to make them do tricks and to give children rides. Why oh why do we do horrible things to the awesome wild life of this planet, we could learn a lot from them if we bothered to look beyond ourselves.

  31. Paula Gallacher · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Animals should not be used in circus shows

  32. Paula Gallacher · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Animals should not be used in circus acts.

  33. Lisa · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  34. Dana Mccoy · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This is so heartbreaking. No animal deservesva life like this.

  35. Maria Muñoz · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    please People we need to stand yo for them. This needs to end. These poor elephants don’t deserve to be tortured and mistreated…such smart animals.

  36. Geraldine Daly · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Circus trainers are a cruel breed of people. The world would be a kinder place without their sort. They should be behind bars and the keys thrown away

  37. Tracy Confer · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Please, I beg everyone to STOP supporting circuses and zoo’s that have elephants!

  38. Suzanne Rhine · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This is heart wrenching to watch the cruelty of these amazing animals.

  39. Kian Kad · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop the abuse!

  40. Kian Kad · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Ban circuses :(

  41. ivana hodulova · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  42. Victoria Andreo · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Ban the use of wild animals used for entertainment. As humans, we are responsible for the breakdown in their mental health due to captivity. This is shameful display of what we have done to them.

  43. Pamela · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    this breaks my heart, I have a 19 year old daughter and I have never taken her to a circus because of the mistreatment of wild animal’s in the shows… it’s disgusting what people do to make money truely breaks my heart

  44. Tuuli Bookman · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    wild animals belong in nature, on a reserve, or in a protected sanctuary or proper zoo with adequate social and mental stimulation – never used simply for human entertainment.

  45. Claire Anderson · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop the suffering give these beautiful animals their dignity back

  46. Trish Conroy · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    The treatment of these intelligent animals is nothing short of disgusting and barbaric. No animals belong in circuses. Their lives are a living hell . . . chained in one spot until they are made to do stupid tricks, and then transported to another location where the abuse is repeated. They literally go insane and are a danger to everyone around them. This needs to stop!

  47. Christine smith · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This has to stop and let’s hope 2015 is the year that makes a difference to all animals suffering around the globe. Let this be their happy new life.

  48. Rita Selle · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    They are “wild”animals. The word explains already such animals should not be tamed for a circus for money and pleasure of “hopefully ignorant”people

  49. RITA MAGALHAES · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    respeitem a vida

  50. amina phillips · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop using elephants in the circus. Lot of torture is being applied to train them.

  51. Yasser · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Elephant is peaceful intelligent animal
    Faithful to the people who raise him he saw them as family that’s why he don’t defend back their cruel acts . But human there is evil and so mean and merciless …. Feel so sorry for the ones suffering in this circus the elephants and other defenseless animals they are defenseless because they are kind to us but humans are not kind to them :( .

  52. Stacey Renee · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Disgusting. Shame on these foul people.

  53. James Negethon · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop having animals in the circus. Cruel and insensitive.

  54. Yvette vernet · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Elephants certainly do not belong in circuses.

  55. Loretta Harnarine · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This must be stopped. Elephants are wild animals and are not meant to be chained up and have kids ride them.

  56. K. Ehler · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Elephants should be free. Let them go before more harm comes to the elephants and people.

  57. Carla. Carrarini · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Stop. Stop. Stop.

  58. Eva Duru · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Wie kann sich der Mensch das Recht herausnehmen, Tiere so vorzuführen. Tiere haben das Recht auf Freiheit. Schaltet doch mal Euer Hirn ein anstatt immer nur ans Geld zu denken.

  59. Natasha Sirugo · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    yes, it’s time to stop this once and for all! Animals don’t belong in entertainment!!! Make them all send these animals to a sanctuary and live in peace with their families as they are meant to be!!

  60. Patricia Pirez · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  61. Marilyn Suarez · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This is to be expected when an intelligent animals is used in a circus. Chained, mistreated, not able to roam. Not able to socialize as elephants must. It’s no wonder that they get angry. They belong in a sanctuary. We need to boycott these circuses

    1. flamingobird · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

      Circuses are becoming so expensive that only the wealthy will be able to go. To go to the Ringling circus cost over $500.00 for four people including the children with the tickets and some food and a program. They are pricing their selves out of most peoples pocket.

  62. Carolyn Ellertson · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    There are so many variables which affect animal behavior that I find it surprising that there are not many more injuries to both people and property. The fact that a wild animal is performing for the public through fear based conditioned response training, does not mean that it has lost it’s natural respective instincts. What animal, including humans, would not want to fight when being brutalized on a daily basis? I have not figured out why circuses and animal shows can get away with their blatant and obvious, as well as documented, abuse! If the average citizen did it, they’d go to jail!! Some of the states and countries need to pull up their big boy/girl pants and start enforcing their own laws and the laws of nature. It’s horrific to watch and know why the animal is performing (ie terrified!). These people are heartless jerks..they have allowed themselves to become desensitized to the pain the are in flicting.. Please enforce animal abuse laws.. This is so sad..

  63. Carolyn Ellertson · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    All stories which truthfully document abuse should be welcome to everyone, even though hard to watch, because it is only through proof that we will get it stopped.

  64. kilchiyoen · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  65. Karine Wandels · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Only monsters go to a circus with animals !! Animals belong in nature !!

  66. Cynthia Mahlin · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    The rules for any business also apply to circus operation. Animal cruelty is often TAUGHT to children as entertainment. WE need to stop this cruelty now. Guns are being used to kill for entertainment. Humans are without values.

  67. Lourdes · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    This must stop l hate the Circuse that use any animals and l will not support this crazyness.

  68. Marlou Plourde · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Wild animals do not belong in circuses nor any entertainment purposes! When will people get that? And when things happen, animals always pay the price! Sick of this!

  69. Helena Gustafsson · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  70. gwen stewart · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Time and time again Elephants are forced to do tricks..and be a Carrasol ride..For Christ sake..get the hint…..they go NUTS doing this!! Can’t you see they belon in a Sanctuary?? It’s like Human slaves….can’t you see this?

  71. Antonia · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Leave the animals in peace. If you can’t think of way to make a living without using the defenless, you are a coward and your life is worth nothing.

  72. julia kane · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    No human or snimal shld be beaten, kept in captivity and used as entertainment. Stop the use of animals in circuses..then there wont be these situations.
    Animals in the circus must be looked after for the rest of their natural life..but after those, there won’t be anymore to have to worry about

  73. Anaiá Arraes · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Odeio cIrco

  74. Claudia Pinheiro · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    How can human beings do this to these amazing, majestic animals! Elephants do not belong in the circus!!!!!

  75. Carin · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    That i allways say.Don’t buy a ticket to a cirkcus wher they have wild animals..They don’t belong there…

  76. Benno Mack · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Tiere gehören nicht in den Zirkus und nicht in den Zoo. Tiere leben nur artgerecht in Freiheit

  77. Mark · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    It’s embarrassing circusses in this day and age are still abusing and exploiting animals for these stupid shows. My heart aches for these poor animals and i feel nothing but contempt for everybody involved in this form of animal cruelty, and for whoever considers this “entertaiment”, it’s cruel, disgraceful and totally inexcusable.

  78. Marie · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Circus should be banned! Horrible! Poor animals!

  79. sharron Bradley · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Please stop all this cruelty to animals. They deserve better

  80. sharron Bradley · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Please stop the cruelty to all animals. They deserve better. Ban elephants from all circuses.

  81. amy rose · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    These gorgeous creatures belong out in nature in the wild not in the circus to be controlled. It is very sad. Circuses should be banned!!!

  82. maurizio boscheri · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a


  83. kim · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    I CARE.. please stop these horrible people!

  84. Alex Norman · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Elephants dont belong at circuses. The belong in the wild.

  85. Lynn Ann Coyle-Lukesh · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    I actually worked for Carson & Barnes at the time I guess I did not understand that the practices were cruel I was very young but yes I had heard of elephants getting out of control and I cannot think that it is good for any living creature to be chained up all the time as they are. Or living in small cages. This needs to stop

  86. penny prosick · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Ive never seen anything so terrible in my life!!! I just want to cry for them, they need to be free or put in a Sanctuary…PLEASE, PLEASE, IM BEGGING YOU!!!!PLEASE SAVE THERE LIVES AND PUT THOSE TRAINERS IN JAIL FOR LIFE!!!!

  87. Ryan Rix · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Please stop the cruelty to all animals! They deserve better!

  88. valerie flet · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    stop this abuse this is sick the trainers are evil dont they see elephants have feelings and a soul.

  89. Marni Montanez · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    It is obvious these circus workers do not know how to properly care for elephants and the issues that arise. Bullhooks and other such torturous tools used on these Elephants is inhumane and outrageous. Who has given human beings the right to capture or imprison elephants for their entertainment purposes.

  90. Sarah Roberts · 19 June 2014 at 10:01a

    Wow. And here’s me in the U.K. thinking that the U.S. was civilized.

    A person and therefore a country can be judged by how they treat their animals.

    So according to the evidence.
    THE U.S. IS NOT CIVILZIED!!!!!!!!!
    What a shame. No point visiting then!

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