Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

The American highway is no place for elephants

Posted: 15 October 2012. Updated: 15 October 2012

Accident in Mississippi increases calls from Animal Defenders International (ADI) for an end to the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.

On Sunday night a semi-truck pulling a trailer of four circus elephants, belonging to Cole Brothers Circus of the Stars, ran off Interstate 10 in south Mississippi.

Local media reports: Kurt Necaise, incident commander for West Hancock County Fire and Rescue, says three elephants were unloaded while the trailer was unhooked from the damaged truck and pulled back to the interstate, but the fourth was too angry to unload. Reports say that the driver and elephants were unhurt.

Tim Phillips, ADI Vice President: “It is lucky that the animals nor people appear to have been seriously injured. Although the injuries to a huge, heavy animal like an elephant being thrown around during an accident may not be realized yet, so we will have to see. Accidents do happen, but if you are carrying dangerous wild animals then the consequences are potentially disastrous.”

“The accident highlights the terrible lives these circus animals lead. Kept for almost the entire year in temporary housing or being transported. Every week travelling circuses force elephants, tigers, and lions onto the backs of trucks to move them to the next location. As the country’s roads get more congested, some accidents are inevitable. But not other exotic wildlife is transported again and again like this. It’s a serious welfare issue and if these animals get loose it is very serious for people too.”

The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act launched in Congress by ADI and the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) would eliminate the use wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses.

ADI is asking that the Cole Brothers elephants be retired to the PAWS ARK2000 Sanctuary in California which specializes in rehabilitating ex-circus elephants.

Tim Phillips: “They’ve done their time on the road give them some sunshine and space to roam for the rest of their lives.”



For more information please contact:
Lori De Waal
De Waal & Associates
7080 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 515
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323-463-3792 Fax

ADI media desk

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.

More information is available on ADI’s website:

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