RSPCA response to footage of escaped circus elephant

The RSPCA was horrified by the recent footage of a circus elephant who escaped into a shopping centre car park in County Cork, Ireland.

Footage showing the 40-year-old Asian elephant pacing through a retail car park in Blackpool before charging through a busy junction towards a shopping centre has been circulated widely.

Dr. Andrew Kelly, RSPCA’s Head of Wildlife, said: “This disturbing piece of footage highlights our concerns that wild animals such as elephants are totally unsuited to travelling circus life.

"If Baby managed to escape, it seems likely that her environment is simply not meeting her needs.

"The footage shows her welfare is clearly at risk and we are particularly concerned about the use of hooks to try and move her.

“This story is a timely reminder of the plight of wild animals in travelling circuses and the need for a complete ban on the use of these animals.”

The RSPCA has long been campaigning for a complete ban on wild animals in travelling circuses in England.

We agree with public opinion that dragging wild animals around the country in beastwagons to perform unnatural tricks purely for entertainment is unacceptable.

We are encouraged that the Westminster Government has said it intends to phase in a ban, but are very worried that no definite date or plans have been set and have grave concerns about the licensing scheme planned for the meantime.


RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
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Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals registered charity no: 219099 Registered office: RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9RS