Sky’s answer on torture of Tai does not impress

As Tai and the other elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel/The Preserve, continue to existing in abject misery, deprivation, beatings and electric shocks, Sky doesn’t want to address the cruelty behind the scenes in their new An Elephant’s Journey production. Here is their stock answer:

Thank you for contacting us about An Elephant’s Journey and thank you also for your patience whilst we investigated your complaint.
The film concerns a circus elephant named Flora who is no longer able to perform her tricks. To prevent any harm coming to Flora, the circus owner’s daughter decides to sneak her out of the circus, starting a long journey to freedom.
The work was passed uncut by the British Board of Film Classification and it is in their remit to raise any concerns around animal welfare in films which they did not do on this occasion, as they noted no noticeable mistreatment of the elephant seen within the film. Additionally, during the end credits there is text notifying viewers that the American Humane Association were satisfied that no animals were harmed during the filming.
We take animal welfare extremely seriously and, on this occasion, are comfortable that the production complies with the appropriate rules as set out by the American Humane Association and has also been approved by the BBFC for broadcast in the UK.
Kind regards
The Sky Team

I can assure The Sky Team that the above does not represent any kind of investigation of the facts, or sense of duty for pushing a production where animals suffered behind the scenes. Your focus on the fantasy story does not mean that Tai and her companions should experience pain and suffering for your to plug your new product.
You could have contacted ADI to see the footage yourself. Or watch it on YouTube.

If you had asked ADI, we could have explained to you that the American Humane clearance is based on their observers seeing no cruelty on set. People who beat and electric shock animals do not do it in front of anyone. It happens during the real training, back at the ranch, where nobody can hear the screams.
Your response sounds dismissive and uncaring.
Extremely unimpressed.

Abused elephant Tai’s suffering ignored by Sky and FJ Productions

HTWT (now The Preserve) owner Kari Johnson

In an appalling move, Sky (shame on them) is featuring a production called ‘An Elephant’s Journey’, (previously entitled ‘Saving Flora’ in the US).

ADI filmed owners and workers at Have Trunk Will Travel, California (now moved to Texas and called The Preserve), violently and brutally beating and electric shocking elephants as the animals screamed in pain. When ADI sent the evidence to FJ Productions and pleaded with them to use CGI instead of live animals, it was ignored.

Performing elephants are taken from their natural lives, families and habitat, transported on terrifying journeys across the world, beaten and electric shocked into submission, and suffer a life of fear, pain and misery, for just a few minutes of entertainment.  And clearly, for profit for companies like Sky and FJ Productions.

Sky should be ashamed to be showing this revolting and disgraceful depiction of abuse of intelligent, emotional and social beings for a few minutes of entertainment.

Please join ADI in urging Sky to do the right thing and instead of supporting the violence inflicted on Tai, to drop ‘An Elephant’s Journey’ from its broadcast schedule and online store. Contact them today at info@skystore.com or send a message through Sky.

Find out more: http://bit.ly/Sky-movie

 

Tarzan and Tanya’s story on Valentine’s Day

ADI has been full steam ahead on building our new ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa since we purchased the property last August. So far, we have built 12 enclosures, planted trees, built brick night houses and platforms/shelters for the cats to see the views. We received our permit to operate the sanctuary and have permission for all of our large cats. By the end of this year, our sanctuary will be home to over 40 big cats, rescued from circuses. See our progress at: http://adiwildlifesanctuary.org.za/

At the same time, ADI has been working this past year with Guatemala’s wildlife and animal welfare officials on enforcement of their country’s ban on animal circuses. We have rescued 21 lions and tigers so far, who are being cared for and prepared for export at our Temporary Rescue Center in Guatemala.

Today, we are telling the story of Tarzan and Tanya, two ex-circus lions at our Temporary Rescue Center – let me paint the picture for you – as the sun sets in Guatemala, lions Tanya and Tarzan snuggle up together and Tarzan begins to wash Tanya’s head. These two beautiful, life-long companions express the kind of bond of love that we all recognise on Valentine’s Day – one that has carried them through the toughest of times.

Tarzan and Tanya spent 8 long years in a small, bare circus cage. At some point during that time, Tarzan was in a fight with a tiger. It must have been horrific and very bloody. His lower lip was torn away from his jaw, and still droops down to this day. His untreated, broken, and infected teeth – commonly seen in circus big cats – left Tarzan in constant pain.

As soon as we rescued Tarzan from the circus, we scheduled him for field dental surgery – his transformation was remarkable. Where he had been subdued and cautious, within days his inner kitten emerged and he began to play. The sight of dear Tarzan playing brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

Tarzan’s companion, Tanya, is small, but brave. She is Tarzan’s protector, patrolling to keep others away from him, and it seems likely that the scars on her face are from her trying to defend him during that savage tiger encounter. While she watches over and guards him, Tarzan is a soothing influence on Tanya, calming her if she gets spooked.

With your help this courageous and loyal lion couple love will be spending their next Valentine’s Day roaming a huge natural enclosure at the new ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. We also hope to undertake surgery to repair Tarzan’s lip once he gets to his forever home.

See Tarzan and Tanya’s story: https://www.youtube.com/animaldefenders

I am in Guatemala right now as we work towards the relocation of Tanya and Tarzan and the other lions and tigers to their new homes and provide for all of their urgent needs in our temporary facilities.

Jan


Give a Valentine’s Day donation for Tanya and Tarzan’s care and to help them to their new life
Donate US $: https://donate.adiusa.org/guatemala/
Donate UK £: https://donate.ad-international.org/guatemala
You can give the purr-fect gift to the one you love, and adopt Tarzan, Tanya, or one of our other rescued lions, as a gift here:
Adopt US $: https://donate.adiusa.org/adoptalion_liberty
Adopt UK £: https://donate.ad-international.org/adoptalion_liberty

NYC votes to end wild animal circuses!

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Congratulations New York City! As of tonight’s vote, wild animal circuses are consigned to history in NYC. Years of persistent campaigning and especially the work of CM Mendez has finally won through and we have the vote that just makes sense. Traveling circuses have no place in modern society.

Steady progress across the US over past few years has seen the number of jurisdictions making the change rapidly increase – now over 70 – joining nearly 40 countries around the globe whose governments have decided that it is time for the suffering in the name of entertainment to end.

A good day for animals.

Now support TEAPSPA – the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act in Congress. Let’s get this DONE.

WATCH ADI SAVING ANIMALS ON CBS 60 MINUTES

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/disturbing-footage-of-circus-animal-abuse-leads-to-widespread-reform/

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What I love about this 60 Minutes show, is that the producers took the time to understand what it takes to get to the point where we can empty an entire country of all its circus animals. A decade of work involves the undercover investigations to gather evidence; the public education to spark and define the laws; intense work with government officials to plan and execute seizures of illegal animals. In under 15 minutes, 60 Minutes covers the whole story including the joyous finale where the lions return to their native land.

Without the investigations, scientific, legal and economic research, public education campaigns and new laws to protect animals, there are no rescues. Rescuing every circus animal in Peru, and taking the first nine of the now-outlawed Colombian circus animals, was a huge achievement. Just as we did in Bolivia (see ‘Lion Ark’ http://www.lionarkthemovie.com/).

The changes must be permanent, we must ensure the captive animals can never be replaced.

These rescues have educated governments, officials and the public to see these animals in a new light – intelligent, emotional individuals, lovers of their families and freedom to live as they choose, in their natural environment. Understanding their place on our shared planet.

There is more to do. More countries need help to make this happen.

Please help investigations–education–awareness leads to animal protection laws = rescues = lasting change:

Watch CBS 60 Minutes and help us do more–

Donate US $ http://bit.ly/1TjatPq
Donate UK £ http://bit.ly/1WXaj5X
Donate via Paypal & Euros http://bit.ly/29BldiH

Finally, a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all the amazing, generous ADI supporters whose donations made this happen, and very SPECIAL THANKS to Bob Barker and the DJ&T Foundation, and The Greater Good.

Lions speak on 60 Minutes, and animal circus news

2017 so far, has been about giving animals their voice – spectacled bear Dominga gave voice on her arrival in her new forest home in Peru (number 109 on the Spirit of Freedom rescue, pictured). She is now next door to spectacled bears Cholita, Lucho and Sabina.

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In the UK, I attended a meeting with the Prime Minister’s team on animal circuses and the ivory trade on the very same day that yet another Private Member Bill on animal circuses (similar to the government’s bill) was blocked. The five-year wait for the government bill to be introduced is shameful and embarrassing. 95% of the British public are in support and for the 2015 General Election, all major parties promised a wild animal circus ban. Thus 98% of MPs stood on a manifesto promise to end the use of wild animals in mobile shows. In the next two weeks, together with ADI VP Tim Phillips, I’ll be presenting our film Lion Ark in the Italian Parliament and then we will be in the US for the introduction of a bill in the US Congress.

The 60 Minutes crew much enjoyed the lions’ morning song during the interview at ADI’s temporary rescue facility near Lima, Peru – the lions interrupted the interviews and ensured they got the attention they wanted! The CBS team made a special clip:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lions-interrupt-60-minutes-interview/

Lions interrupt 60 Minutes interview

www.cbsnews.com

If you are in the US, tonight (7pm ET/PT), the CBS 60 MINUTES show airs their feature on par of ADI’s Spirit of Freedom, about the airlift of the 33 African lions from Colombia and Peru to their native Africa:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/33-lions-rescued-in-largest-airlift-of-its-kind/

Rescued ex-circus lions update

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The lions have spent the months since their arrival at Emoya in South Africa, becoming familiar with their new environment in their bonding camps, reconnecting families and friends, new friendships have been made and we have been busy with extensive veterinary and dental work for broken teeth and infected gums, treatments for nerve damage affecting eyesight, balance and tongue control – all the result of blows to their heads in the circuses.  ADI is funding veterinary care, food, supplements and other supplies as well as some staff, at around $12,000/month.

Many groups are now out in their 2.5-5 acre circular permanent habitats, living as close to their natural life as we can get. Leo (pictured) is living with his mate Muñeca and daughters Africa and Kiara.

Now, we need to raise another $100,000 to build the permanent habitats for the final family groups. These large-scale rescues have made a huge impact on public awareness as well as helping governments to protect animals and have long-term solutions for animals that cannot be returned to the wild. We must complete the work.

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Help us raise the permanent homes for these deserving lions, like Ricardo (pictured):

https://www.ad-international.org/take_action/donate.php

Ringling Bros. circus closure – a good day for animals

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Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced that the circus will close in May, citing declining ticket sales; this follows an earlier announcement that there had been a ‘mood shift’ among their consumers about the use of animals in circuses.

This is welcome news. For over twenty years, ADI has published evidence exposing the cramped, barren conditions in which these animals live, with long periods of time tied up and chained with no freedom of movement along with a brutal training culture. Our years of investigations, detailed reports on the scientific evidence and economic arguments and exposing behind-the-scenes brutality has made a difference. This evidence has been a catalyst for action. And public opinion made this happen.

Our thanks to everyone who has given out a leaflet, carried a placard, written a letter, testified, educated friends, family and colleagues, stood outside a circus and informed audiences. You made a difference.

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Today’s audiences have many entertainment choices and do not want to see shows where animals are forced to perform and live in, effectively, barren boxes on wheels. Hence the growing popularity of human-only performance shows.

Ringling Bros. made the wrong call by not moving with the times. Although they dropped their elephant acts last year, they continued to misunderstand their audience. The trend away from animal acts includes other animals such as lions and tigers. Circus shows without animals are not only surviving, they are increasingly popular.

This is a business decision, the animals remain the property of Ringling Bros., and they will decide their fate. ADI strongly urges the Feld family to reflect public opinion and allow their ex-circus animals to be taken to good sanctuaries. Let them live out their lives with no call on them to be an exhibit or perform in any way. Let them enjoy the freedom they lost when their forebears were captured.

When the use of animals is ended through national legislation and it becomes illegal for touring shows to have the animals, ADI is happy to assist officials with finding homes and we have relocated approaching 200 animals around the world. The animal protection charities in the US have the resources to manage this task, should Congress act.

Worldwide, 34 countries have looked at the evidence and taken national action to end performing animal shows for reasons of both animal welfare and public safety, with others considering action.

Keeping large, stressed animals in lightweight, mobile facilities is clearly unsafe. The nature of constantly-moving shows is problematic for officials. USDA Inspector General reports describe the difficulties with follow-through on findings of inspections and regulatory enforcement for shows which are constantly on the move.

These concerns have prompted action in the US Congress and Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) plan to introduce the Traveling Exotic Animal Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), to end the use of animals in these unsafe mobile shows.

ADI will be encouraging the public to support this proportionate and reasonable approach to dealing with such animal welfare and public safety risks. Already, 66 local jurisdictions across 27 states in the US have barred animal circuses from towns and cities, while several states are considering similar legislation. The will is there.

This is an issue whose time has come.J.

More on the Ringling Bros. decision http://bit.ly/2iz4KgC

More on ADI’s campaign to end circus suffering http://bit.ly/29BldiH