Stop Circus Suffering

Elephant trainer crushed in Ireland

When Courtney Brothers Circus began touring with five elephants ARAN warned of the risks.

Courtney Brothers elephants. Image copyright ARAN.

When Courtney Brothers Circus began touring with five elephants, including parading the animals through town centres, ADI’s Ireland campaign partner Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) warned of the risks. First there was a near escape and within days an actual escape with a young elephant running through a parking lot and onto a road.

Pictured: Courtney Brothers Circus comes to town, shown here in Tramore, County Waterford.  Image copyright ARAN.

Over 30 experts including field researchers, zoos, scientists, and animal protectionists attending the Summit for Elephants signed an ADI statement calling for an end to the use of elephants in circuses, noting: “This week’s escape of an elephant from Courtney Brothers Circus in Cork, Rep. of Ireland, could have easily resulted in disastrous consequences for both local people and the animal.”

Two days later whilst attempting to break up a fight between two elephants a trainer was crushed and hospitalised. Jim Conway, general manager of Courtney Brothers Circus, told the Irish Times: “As far as I have been told, two elephants were jostling outside the circus and a trainer happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

ADI and ARAN launched Stop Circus Suffering Ireland in 2007 following an ADI undercover operation there, and are now stepping up calls for a ban. John Carmody of ARAN: “With the frantic images of the elephant trying to escape on Tuesday from the circus hitting households everywhere, people across our nation is finally realising that circuses with animals have no place in Irish society. The writing is surely on the wall for those still clinging onto archaic animal acts.”

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