Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Anne the elephant safe at last

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.

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.


Interview opportunities and photos are available. Broadcast quality footage is available on request.

Media Contact:
Phil Buckley, Media Relations Director, Animal Defenders International, 07716 018250, 0207 630 3344,

ADI has been concerned about the plight of Annie for a number of years, including flying a vet to her when she became desperately ill. To find out more about their recent Bobby Roberts Super Circus expose visit:

ADI is leading the campaign to end the suffering of animals in entertainment and currently has major campaigns running in Europe, South America, and USA. ADI is generally credited with shutting down most of the UK animal circuses following a massive undercover investigation leading to the convictions for cruelty of Mary Chipperfield and others – the only circus cruelty convictions in the UK. 50% of Uk animal circuses went animal free in the 6 months following the ADI investigation.

ADI has continued to undertake dramatic undercover investigations of animal circuses throughout Europe, South America and the USA.

National measures to prohibit or limit the use of animals in circuses have already been adopted in Bolivia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Singapore, Costa Rica, India and Israel and similar laws are being discussed in Brazil, Chile, Norway, Peru and Greece.
This year, ADI co-ordinated a search and seizure operation with the Bolivian authorities, raiding and closing down eight circuses that were defying the country’s ban. All animals were rescued with ADI flying 25 lions to the USA in a record breaking airlift.
A ban on the use of wild animals in circuses using regulations under the Animal Welfare Act was promised in 2006 and reiterated by the outgoing Defra Minister in 2010.

Government’s own public consultation in March 2010 found that an overwhelming 94.5% of the public want to see a ban on wild animals in circuses and over 170 MPs have now signed Early Day Motion 403 calling on the Government to ban wild animal acts. A recent parliamentary poll conducted by ADI found that 63% of MPs would like to see a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and only 14% disagreed.

Dods Monitoring polled 100 MPs from Tuesday 4th January – Friday 28th January via online and paper polling. The question asked was: “The Government should ban the use of wild animals in circuses rather than let the industry self-regulate their welfare.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? The poll found that 63% of MPs Agreed or Strongly Agreed with this statement. Of the 100 MPs who were polled on this issue 14% Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed and 6% did not respond.

Photographs and video are available from the various ADI investigations.

Animal Defenders International (ADI)
With offices in London, Los Angeles, and Bogota Animal Defenders International (ADI) is a major international campaigning group, lobbying to protect animals on issues such as animals in entertainment and their use in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI involves itself in international animal rescues as well as educational work on animals, conservation and environment. Founded in 1990, ADI has become a major force for animal protection and has succeeded through its undercover investigations in securing legal protection for animals. ADI opposes violence or intimidation whether directed at humans or other animals.


© Animal Defenders International 2019