Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

CSI’s Jorja Fox Takes on the Circus Elephant Abusers

Posted: 13 April 2012. Updated: 20 April 2012

Los Angeles, CA—Actress Jorja Fox (who plays CSI’s Sarah Sidle) released a new video message about circus animal abuse today, on behalf of Animal Defenders International (ADI)..

Fox is seen holding a bullhook, a weapon used to control elephants, saying “This is a bullhook it’s heavy, it’s sharp, and it hurts” she continues, “This is the weapon of choice for elephant circus performers. It is used to get elephants to perform trick to amuse people.”

The 90-second PSA tells the story of one elephant, Krissy, who was captured from the wild in Africa in 1984 at the age of two and eventually ended up in America where she is hired out by Texas based Trunks and Humps to work in traveling circuses and give rides at fairs.

An ADI undercover field officer at Bailey Brothers Circus filmed Mike Swain, son of Bill Swain, owner of Trunks and Humps, savagely beating Krissy and another elephant Queenie with bullhooks and golf club and even electric shocking the elephants. At one point she is dragged to her knees and kicked in the face by Swain, who continues to work with elephants. The video also shows Krissy kept on chains and in a transporter when not giving rides at fairs. The brutal scenes are juxtaposed with breathtaking images of a family of wild elephants living free in Africa.

Jorja says, “I wanted to help this campaign because I believe elephants are like stardust, something magical. Intelligent, gentle giants whose life revolves around family, love affection and companionship.” she concludes, “These mighty, magical creatures, exemplify all that is wrong with traveling circus: The confinement; the deprivation; the social isolation; the barren environment; and the violence.”

In November, Jorja Fox joined Bob Barker, Congressman Jim Moran and the ADI team for the launch of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359) in Congress. The Act would outlaw the use of animals like elephants in traveling shows and at fairs where they are forced to live in traveling accommodation.

Fox says, “It is time for people to realize these circus and elephant rides at fairs are not harmless fun. These are living animals whose lives have been destroyed. I urge people to get in touch with their Member of Congress and ask them to help end this suffering.”

The CSI star’s crusade to end the suffering of elephants in entertainment also includes screenings this weekend of ‘How I became an Elephant’ at the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida and the First Glance Film Festival in Hollywood. The film, produced by Fox, explores the treatment of elephants through the eyes of a 14 year old girl.



Matt Rossell, Animal Defenders International, 323-804-9920

Broadcast-quality video footage is available for download, contact ADI.

A bullhook is a heavy bar with a sharpened metal point and hook on the end, which elephant workers use to hook and strike elephants. The painful training sessions instill such life-long fear in the animals that the mere presence of the bullhook is all that is necessary to get compliance.

As the leader of the Break the Chain campaign, ADI works with animal rights and welfare organizations across the U.S. , and is currently working to gain grassroots support for the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359), which currently has 19 co-sponsors and is awaiting a hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture subcommittee of Livestock, Dairy and Poultry.

ADI has conducted investigations of circuses in the U.S and worldwide and has produced comprehensive reports, including ‘Animals in Traveling Circuses: the science on suffering’ which provides evidence of the suffering of animals forced to travel and perform.

To find out more information on ADI’s Break the Chain campaign, visit

For more information about the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359) visit

Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.



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