Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International


Posted: 12 August 2011. Updated: 12 August 2011

LOS ANGELES – Aug. 9, 2011 - Animal Defenders International (ADI) has filed a formal complaint calling on USDA Western Regional Director, Robert Gibbens, to check on Sarah, a sick elephant at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performances at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Eye witnesses saw Sarah fall down and collapse late last night while attempting to climb up the ramp onto the train car after leaving the Ringling performances at the Honda Center. The USDA complaint is available upon request.

Watch video of the incident here:

Sign On San Diego reported last month that USDA inspectors had cited Ringling Bros. in Colorado Springs for not properly treating Sarah, this same 54-year old Asian elephant who is suffering from a chronic condition with pus-like discharge in her urine.

“Sarah is sick and the stress and fatigue has likely led to this dangerous fall. This elephant needs to taken off the road immediately so she can be properly evaluated and treated by a veterinarian,” said Matt Rossell, Campaigns Director for Animal Defenders International. “Many traveling elephants are sick and still forced to perform—and incidents like Sarah’s fall, underline the dangers faced by animals chained and caged in this impoverished life on the road.”

ADI will host a protest and education outreach event at the opening night performance of Ringling Bros. next stop in Ontario, CA, this Wednesday, Aug 10th starting at 6:00 pm, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, 4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764.

Local Ontario animal control officers were initially alerted by ADI about Sarah’s fall and they said they plan to keep an eye on her through the last performance that is scheduled for Sunday, Aug 14, 2011.

Leading the ‘Break the Chain’ campaign, ADI works with animal rights and welfare organizations across the U.S. to bring awareness on a local grassroots level to the communities in which animal circuses perform.

For over 18 years, ADI has conducted investigations of circuses all over the world and has produced comprehensive reports, including one in the U.S. called “Science on Suffering,” which details evidence of animal suffering in circuses as a result of extreme confinement, constant traveling and cruel training practices. More information is available on the ADI website:

ADI’s Mission:To educate, create awareness, and promote the interest of humanity in the cause of justice, and the suppression of all forms of cruelty to animals wherever possible to alleviate suffering, and to conserve and protect animals and the environment.


© Animal Defenders International 2019