Updated: Ringling Bros. Elephant Injures Trainer

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is reporting that an elephant named P.T. attacked Ringling Bros. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey trainer Joe Frisco Jr. while the circus was at Miami's America Airlines Arena on January 7.

Ringling Bros. issued a statement Wednesday stating the Frisco "received minor injuries after falling while walking with a juvenile elephant in the elephant barn in Miami."

"Contrary to false reports issued by an animal rights group to the media today, Mr. Frisco was not attacked by the elephant nor was the accident a result of any purported mistreatment."

PETA, which received its information from a whistle blower, has asked the USDA to investigate the incident and inspect the animals for any signs of abuse.

"Elephants who are routinely abused in circuses become ticking time bombs," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "The beatings lead to attacks, and the attacks lead to more beatings. This is not the first time that PETA has received a report that an elephant attacked a Ringling trainer, and it probably won't be the last."

P.T. is a juvenile elephant that does not perform, but whose mother is on the tour with the circus' Red Unit. P.T. was brought to Miami from the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk County, FL to see if it would take to life on the road. The five and a half year-old elephant apparently did not adapt well to life with the circus, and will now live permanently at the center and not travel, a Ringling Bros. statement said.

Joe Frisco Jr. is the brother of Tim Frisco, also an elephant trainer, who was caught on tape viciously beating elephants with steel-tipped bullhooks for the Carson & Barnes Circus.

In 2005 a Ringling Bros. handler needed medical treatment for a fractured pelvis when he was knocked down by an elephant, and in 1993 a Ringling Bros. elephant killed a handler in Gainesville, FL when it stepped on his chest, according to PETA.

On its website, Ringling Bros. says its animal trainers and their charges have "a relationship built on respect, trust, affection and uncompromising care," and that "verbal or physical abuse" of the animals "and the withholding of food or water" from them "are strictly prohibited ... Just watch our animals and their handlers interact and you will see the wonderful bond between them.” -- Tovin Lapan



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14 comments
alex and alexa uk boys trainer
alex and alexa uk boys trainer

I would have to say that enough time has come to get away from the act of creatures doing for individuals. It is ancient and no more suitable. I am grateful to listen to that this concept is beginning to get out and that individuals are becoming delicate to the circumstances of the efficiency pet. Misuse of any type on any monster is undesirable. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

Have you seen the videos in question here?If not you should take a look. Unfortunately I have watched these videos a bit too late, the day after I took my kids to see the show at Staples, July 9th, 2009, Ringling Bros Circus, had I seen these monsters beating these poor creatures down I would of never taken my kids to see this stupid circus.Ok, so here is my question, the video serves as EVIDENCE right? So what are we waiting for to shut RINGLING BROS DOWN? If it's true, they can't argue with it, it's been all caught on tape, so why are they free? Why are they on tour around the country? Why do they still have 11 elephants, zebras, horses, tigers under their custody? How come these monster trainers are still out there doing what they like and where is justice for this?

tson
tson

"peta sucks! circus rocks must work atthe circus."

Soe logic, somebody who disagrees with you works with those who you campaign against. Really logical.

that was sarcasm if you couldn't tell.

I would say that investigating animal cruelty ALLEGATIONS is not something to be neglected, but I wouldn't jump on PETA's words as 100% truth without independent work, given their history of exaggeration and doctoring.

joe
joe

monayou shouldnt rag on people because they are not as smart as you. maybe he is from another country. and there is not always room in a herd for everyone. some animals are forced out of the herd and not just the boys. and tyke did not belong to ringling

Richard
Richard

peta sucks! circus rocks must work atthe circus. Its transient losers like these that are "caring" for these exotic & endangered species that do not belong to anyone, let alone the circus. That's what really Sucks!

Mona
Mona

It is really too bad "petasucks" never went to school or learned how to properly punctuate a sentence...let's break this down one freaky chunk of spew at a time...

"you people have no clue on what you are talking about u do not know what the elephant's think an how they are treated u are not be hinde the senes"

Should be: You people have no clue what(no "on" needed) what you are talking about. You don't know what the elephants (plural of "elephant," "eleophant's" is possessive) think or how they are treated. You are not behind the scenes (NOT "not be hind the senes").

"peta needs to stop harassing people an get lives ringling does not alow any animal cruelty"should be: "PETA needs to stop harassing poeple and get lives. Ringling does not allow any animal cruelty."

"an maybe if u worked there u would know the have hooks with no points on them they are not alowed to hook a elephant an they do not use wips u people need to get fact's straight"Should be:

"Maybe if (or 'Perhaps if') you worked there you would know they have hools with not points. They are not allowed to hook an elephant and they do not use whips (not "wips"). You people need to get your facts (not "fact's") straight.

"an when elephant's are so young they dont do that because they are beaten they do it because they are geting older to show u they are biger because in the wild they fight to stay in the herd so please get some fact straight"should be:

"When elephants are so young they don't do that because they are beaten they do it because they are getting older to show you they are bigger, becayse in the wild, they fight to stay in the herd; so please get some facts straight."

"by the way i love how peta has videos of african elephants saying its ringling when ringling has asian wow learn youre animal's please"Should be:

By the way, I love how PETA has videos of African elephants saying it's Ringling, when Ringling has Asian Elephants. Learn your (not "you're") animals (not "animal's) please."

There, much better. The whole thing should read:

You people have no clue what what you are talking about. You don't know what the elephants think or how they are treated. You are not behind the scenes. PETA needs to stop harassing poeple and get lives. Ringling does not allow any animal cruelty. Maybe if you worked there you would know they have hools with not points. They are not allowed to hook an elephant and they do not use whips. You people need to get your facts straight. When elephants are so young they don't do that because they are beaten they do it because they are getting older to show you they are bigger, becayse in the wild, they fight to stay in the herd; so please, again, get some facts straight. By the way, I love how PETA has videos of African elephants saying it's Ringling, when Ringling has Asian Elephants. Learn your animals please."

Now that it makes grammatical sense, I can respond to the posting. I am not sure which "you people" petasucks is referring to, but I do know that he (or she) doesn't know what the animals think either. We who actually care about them do, in fact, presume that the animals think and feel, which is more than anyone at Ringling Brothers ever has ever presumed about the animals beyond what they can get out of them. I also have quite a nice life, thank you. I don't recall ever hearing about PETA harrassing anyone. And what is a hook, by definition, if not a long metal pole with a sharp ending??? Are you really that stupid? Apparently you (or "u" are). By the way, elephants DO NOT have to fignt to stay in the herd, in the wild. There is a place for everyone in the herd. There is a hierarchy, but the only ones who fight are the males, who fight each other for females, and are solitary and NOT part of a herd. Herts are matriarchal (that means there is an old, wise female elephant from whom the other female elephants take their lead). With regard to whether Ringling has African Elephants or Asian Elephants: I don't know what kind they have now, but they did have an African Elephant named Tyke, who went berzerk in Honolulu in 1994. Perhaps for that reason, they no longer have African elephants perform. They don't submit as well to the beatings as the Asian elephant does, apparently.

peta sucks! circus rocks
peta sucks! circus rocks

you people have no clue on what you are talking about u do not know what the elephant's think an how they are treated u are not be hinde the senes peta needs to stop harassing people an get lives ringling does not alow any animal cruelty an maybe if u worked there u would know the have hooks with no points on them they are not alowed to hook a elephant an they do not use wips u people need to get fact's straight an when elephant's are so young they dont do that because they are beaten they do it because they are geting older to show u they are biger because in the wild they fight to stay in the herd so please get some fact straight........... by the way i love how peta has videos of african elephants saying its ringling when ringling has asian wow learn youre animal's please

Allan
Allan

Ringling Bros. and most circuses are a disgrace for the animal kingdom, why the use of animals for this kind of business is not prohibited? why they do not use just humans for their shows?

These monsters are well-known for their endless torture, neglect and mistreat of animals, shame on them, please do not pay for seeing this animal cruelty!!!

Kevin
Kevin

I would have to say that the time has come to abandon the act of animals performing for humans. It is archaic and no longer acceptable. I am glad to hear that this message is starting to get out and that people are becoming sensitive to the plight of the performance animal. Abuse of any kind on any creature is unacceptable. R&B should reconsider their operation and implement changes that will secure their future as a viable and responsible form of family entertaiment.

bolek
bolek

Please support those circuses that are performed by humans for humans.

HUMANS TO THE CIRCUS AND ANIMALS TO MOTHER NATURE.

Bolek
Bolek

My understanding of humanity was fundamentally disturbed days ago, when I found out about the brutality suffered by animals that are under care and responsibility of the Ringling Bros Circus.After watching images on a video that showed the so call "trainers" (better to call them monsters) dealing with the elephants, I was devastated.If the people that assist and support this company, by attending their shows, knew of their barbaric ways, they would feel betrayed because now they have become an accomplice to a highly unjust act. If even the children who attend this "so colorful" spectacle knew of the suffering of these creatures - which they are taught to love at the first years of life at school and at home - they would never return.

Charlotte Duncan
Charlotte Duncan

I have seen first-hand the way the "trainers" interact with the elephants at the Ringling Circuses. And if I was treated that way, I would want to kick some serious ass, too.

I just hope P.T. is put in a safe place so that Frisco cannot seek revenge on her, which he will surely do if given the opportunity.

Animals do not belong in circuses.

Jenn
Jenn

How long will Ringling go on insisting they do not beat these animals to make them perform? I was glad to hear the crowds attending the circus this year dwindled even further from years past. We can only hope the Miami Herald stops promoting this outdated event. Allow these poor animals their dignity.

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