St. Louis Animal Rights Advocates to Protest Elephant Abuse at Ringling Bros. Circus

Categories: Animals, News

circuselephant.jpg
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The circus is in town this weekend, and St. Louis animal-rights activists are turning out to try to convince showgoers that the Greatest Show on Earth is actually the saddest.

Christina Tenti, of south St. Louis County, and her volunteer team say they're protesting at the Scottrade Center in stealth-mode this weekend, passing out coloring books about abuses at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

See also: Zookeeper Crushed To Death By Elephant Named "Patience"

Activists and investigators have been clamoring about animal mistreatment at the world's most famous circus, including whipping exotic animals with bullhooks, trapping them in cars filled with feces and shocking them with electric probes, for years. In 2011 the USDA fined the Ringling Bro.'s parent company $270,000 -- the largest animal abuse penalty in history -- for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Tenti is leading the charge against the circus. She says signs and picket lines aren't effective, so she's trying a new strategy: smiles and coloring books.

"If people find out you're with PETA or you're a protester, St. Louis is a small community, and they don't like that," said Tenti. "So we just smile and say, 'Let this be your last trip.'"


Tenti said her strategy worked earlier this year when a circus came to the Jamestown Mall in Florissant.

"The treatment is so horrendous," she said. "It just needs to stop."

The St. Louis Animal Rights Team will also be protesting the circus, picketing and holding signs on Thursday and Friday.

If you want to join the protest, it takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. from October 17 through 20 at 1401 Clark Avenue. For more information, join the Facebook event or contact Tenti at christinatenti@live.com.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


Location Info

Map

Scottrade Center

1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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49 comments
Debi Wodraska
Debi Wodraska

Elephants have families, too. Infact, it's an essential part of their being - emotional and psychological. They are extraordinarily intelligent, and have complex and deep familial bonds thru an extended family. Every female is invested in the care of the children. They mourn their dead. Individuals never forget one another, even if separated as children, and reunited later as adults. Adult elephants are often killed, as their screaming, traumatized babies are taken away from them, the baby elephant witnessing the brutal slaughter of their mother, for this type of animal trade. It's been proven this trauma remains with them, like PTSD in humans, and may be one of the contributing factors when captive elephants attack their trainers or keepers. Of course, in the case of trainers, the circumstances of cruelty and stressful living conditions, contribute, as well. But, yah, Jeff Willett, I wouldn't want to ruin that human family's entertainment - that could be had without the use of abused wild animals. I think it would be better for the future life of the children to be taught compassion.

Juan Cruz
Juan Cruz

so do the animals at the zoo..free them..sad

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

I met a family today with a couple of kids that were thrilled and excited to be going to the circus. Anybody that would ruin that is a jerk.

Karen Peeler
Karen Peeler

I agree...a somewhat 'cold hearted' comment by RFT. Maybe the staff there needs to watch a 'behind the scene' video so they can see what's happening to these poor animals. I suppose dog fighting is funny too.

Sj Braun
Sj Braun

If not for them, we'd never get to see these animals - and I've never seen an animal suffering in a zoo either.....just sayin

Raymond Farrar
Raymond Farrar

They've been protesting this circus for years. Maybe someday soon, someone will listen. I doubt it.

Karla Smith
Karla Smith

"Will you pick us up an anti-animal cruelty coloring book? Kthx." Way to sound like a condescending and uncaring.

FuckPETA
FuckPETA

"If people find out you're with PETA or you're a protester, St. Louis is a small community, and they don't like that."  I hardly think that's why.  Don't forget folks, PETA is one of the largest killers of cats and dogs nationwide (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-j-winograd/peta-kills-puppies-kittens_b_2979220.html).  Maybe people don't like PETA because they're hypocrites and pretend friends to animals.  Maybe PETA friends and PETA members should take a long hard look at how they're giant walking talking contradictions.  And then maybe they should shut the fuck up.

Nikki Fields
Nikki Fields

There's literally no entertainment or humor value in watching elephants and big cats being trained and forced to do tricks for a bunch of gaping humans. This is a no-brainer. And then people are shocked when a big cat randomly mauls a trainer, or a killer whale at Sea World kills a trainer. They're not domesticated animals, they're wild animals, and the sooner people stop supporting stupid shit like this, the sooner these animals will stop being abused, and the sooner the morons that make their living in businesses like these will stop being maimed and killed.

Christina Ervin
Christina Ervin

Good job Heather Ervin. You had to go post on this status and now I'm heated lol.

Megan George
Megan George

I love that this has nothing to do with elephants what so ever! LMAO

Christina Ervin
Christina Ervin

These people clearly take this post very seriously. He deleted all his comments. Probably because he realized he sounded like an ass. I didn't realize seeing blow up elephants today would have caused all this lol.

Heather Ervin
Heather Ervin

Maybe he's psychic! That's a bigger story than coloring books, RFT

Megan George
Megan George

I heard servers are plotting to abuse inflatable birds next...

Christina Ervin
Christina Ervin

No Heather Ervin this guy just decided to chime in and act like a typical assclown for no reason. Stalks my fb page like a little boy, and decides to poke fun of my job. For one...at least I have a job, and for two...if he would have stalked a little better he would have seen I'm in school. Go back to Cali with your I'm better than you attitude!

Megan George
Megan George

All severs are elephant abusers!!! Call the popo!

Carlos Lardizabal
Carlos Lardizabal

By the RFT posting a light hearted, comical statement, it opens the door for people on here to continue to not take this seriously and poke fun. I'm not very informed on this problem but I know how animals and show business has always involved abuse. St. Louis has had so many animal abuse cases this year, a news paper not taking this seriously is the last thing we need.

Christina Ervin
Christina Ervin

And you're an uninformed asshole Anthony Gutierrez! We saw inflatable elephants downtown and wondered what they were there for. NoNE of us are for abusing animals. Why don't you all calm the hell down. Fyi fb stalker...under my job it shows I go to school. Just in case you thought you were better than me, you're far from it.

Megan George
Megan George

Someone wastes one of those awesome things by popping it I'ma be pissssseeeeddd

Heather Ervin
Heather Ervin

Umm calm down ... lol. We saw giant inflatable elephants downtown, and I was telling them what they were for ... I'm not for animal abuse

Christina Ervin
Christina Ervin

Amie Marie you dont even know what you're taking about! We saw blow up elephants on lunch today downtown.....jesus christ!!!

Megan George
Megan George

Heather Ervin Christina Ervin I want an elephant!

Amie Marie
Amie Marie

No Heather Ervin its not! Go ahead and google how they train and torture these elephants for ur fkn amusement!

Amie Marie
Amie Marie

Good i hate these circus assholes :'(

Adam Woehler
Adam Woehler

I was backstage at this circus at the Checkerdome as a child. I saw a handler merciless beating on an elephant. I have never been to a circus again.

Nikki Fields
Nikki Fields

Agreed Carlos Lardizabal! I will never attend another circus that uses elephants or big cats! They should be in the wild or sanctuaries, NOT doing tricks and jumping through flaming hoops!

Debi Wodraska
Debi Wodraska

That's okay, good article, and so I shared it directly from article page - So as not to share the snark.

John Lupia
John Lupia

Circuses that use animals should be banned.

Heather Ervin
Heather Ervin

Megan George, Christina Ervin .. this is what those elephants were for ...

Debi Wodraska
Debi Wodraska

Yah, RFT, kind of unnecessary - and crappy - tongue in cheek.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

the circus companies got smart a few years ago and started giving tons of free tickets to media companies to give to viewers and readers in exchange for not reporting the horrific treatment of these amazing animals.

Greg Hahne
Greg Hahne

is the coloring book printed on trees logged from the amazon jungle?

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