Posted: 3 April 2011. Updated: 3 April 2011
Anne the elephant has made a safe journey to Longleat Safari Park this morning after being handed over by Bobby Roberts Super Circus.
Last weekend Animal Defenders International (ADI) released shocking undercover footage revealing the terrible suffering of the UK’s last circus elephant and the oldest elephant in Europe, chained and being repeatedly beaten. Public outrage led to the circus signing over her ownership in the past few days.
Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI said: “We are overjoyed that Anne is now in a place of safety. The public outpouring of sympathy after ADI filmed this lovely old elephant chained up, beaten, kicked and jabbed with a pitchfork, has saved her. This is a wonderful day and it is also time to say “never again” and end the use of wild animals in circuses.”
ADI, Longleat and other animal protection organisations have issued the following statement:
“We are absolutely delighted that Anne the elephant was on Sunday 3 April successfully moved to Longleat Safari Park.
“Anne coped with the journey admirably well, is safe, well and beginning to settle into her new surroundings.
“In the coming days and weeks a team of three dedicated keepers will provide her with the tender loving care she needs around the clock. She will also receive a full health check and be provided with the best possible veterinary treatment. A decision will then be made on where she will be cared for long-term.
“Anne is an elderly elephant and has been through a huge ordeal. We ask everyone to now leave her in peace so she has the best chance of recovering from her ordeal and settling into her new surroundings.
“Animal Defenders International (ADI), British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), Born Free Foundation, Longleat, RSPCA and Specialist Wildlife Services thank the public for their concern for Anne. She is now in a place where she can feel safe and secure.
All the groups will continue to liaise in the coming days and weeks to ensure Anne receives the highest and most appropriate level of care available, both in the short and long-term."
This exposé of Anne’s treatment is the latest in a series of damning exposés of British circuses filmed by ADI. In 2009, the Government promised action after similar scenes were filmed in the elephant tent of the Great British Circus. http://www.youtube.com/animaldefenders#p/a/u/2/vL3_ni-geUU
Jan Creamer said: “Anne is a true survivor. She was torn from the wild and then spent 50 years in the circus. Now at last she can have some peace. Today is a day to celebrate, but not relax. It is vital that Defra finally implements its promise to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. If it had not been for the ADI investigation, her suffering would have continued. Let’s learn the lesson and ensure that there can never be suffering like this again in the UK.
“There is overwhelming public support for a ban on wild animals in circuses and the Government has the power to act. But currently there is nothing to stop any British circus from brining in another elephant tomorrow to replace Anne and the tragic cycle starts again.”
The ADI legal team is continuing to review the evidence from the investigation for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.