Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Statement on recent circus elephant escape, Ireland

Posted: 30 March 2012. Updated: 17 April 2015


From: Animal protection organizations, sanctuaries and zoos attending the PAWS Elephant Summit, March 28-30, 2012

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.

The incident highlights how inappropriate it is to keep wild animals like elephants in travelling circuses.

The PAWS Summit for Elephants Conference currently taking place at Oakland Zoo, California is exploring and discussing improvement of the handling of elephants in captivity and is bringing together animal protectionists, zoos, and those working with elephants in the wild.

We the undersigned delegates at this conference urge that steps be taken to end the use of elephants in travelling circuses in the interests of protection of the welfare of these wild and magnificent animals, and in the interests of public safety:

  • Jan Creamer, President, Animal Defenders International
  • Pat Derby, Co-founder, Performing Animal Welfare Society & ARK2000 Elephant Sanctuary
  • Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research, Oakland Zoo
  • Ron Kagan, Executive Director, CEO, Detroit Zoo
  • Gail Laule, Active Environments, Inc.
  • Dr. Mel Richardson, Veterinarian, Captive Wildlife Health Consultant
  • Joyce Poole, Ph.D., Founder, ElephantVoices
  • Kartick Satyanarayan, Founder, Wildlife SOS India
  • Cindy Machado, Director of Animal Services, Marin Humane Society
  • Rob Atkinson, CEO, The Elephant Sanctuary, Tennessee
  • Patricia McEachern, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Drury University Forum on Animal Rights
  • Delcianna Winders, Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, PETA Foundation
  • Keith Lindsay, Ph.D., Researcher/Conservation Biologist, Amboseli, Elephant Research Project
  • Leonie Vestering, President, Elephant Haven
  • Linda Faso, PACTA, People Against Cruelty to Animals
  • Catherine Doyle, Elephant Welfare Specialist, Campaign Director, In Defense of Animals
  • Chris Draper, Senior Animal Welfare Scientist, Born Free Foundation
  • Tim Phillips, Vice President, Animal Defenders International
  • Matt Rossell, Campaigns Director, Animal Defenders International
  • Ed Stewart, Co-founder, Performing Animal Welfare Society
  • Steve Smith, Director of Elephant Husbandry, The Elephant Sanctuary
  • Margaret Whittaker, Active Environments, Inc.
  • Petter Granli, Founder, ElephantVoices
  • Geeta Seshamani, Founder, Wildlife SOS India
  • Tony Verhulst, Vice President, Elephant Haven
  • Sofie Goetghebeur, Treasurer, Elephant Haven

Individual delegates:

  • Juliette West
  • Lee West
  • Sidney Simpson
  • Jan Jones
  • Ruth Scnoggin
  • Elena Fieni
  • Cora Moore
  • Kay Stratten

Read about the Summit for Elephants here
Read about the Cork elephant escape here
Watch the video of the escape here

© Animal Defenders International 2019