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Jan-11-2012 15:31printcomments

PETA Response to: 'North American Zoos Support Worldwide Elephant Conversation'

Instead of supporting an organization that supports elephant exploitation, people can make a real difference by supporting legitimate elephant sanctuaries...

Chained elephant

(NORFOLK, Va.) - This letter to the editor is a response to the article published by Salem-News.com titled, 'North American Zoos Support Worldwide Elephant Conversation'.

The International Elephant Foundation (IEF) was founded largely to support elephant exhibitors and to perpetuate captive elephant breeding. It does very little to meaningfully improve the lives of elephants.

The IEF was co-founded by Ringling Bros. Circus, which has a well-documented history of elephant abuse and exploitation. The circus just paid a record penalty of $270,000 for abusing animals and an exposé by the Washington Post into Ringling's training facility describes how baby elephants undergo years of cruelty until they learn unnatural tricks needed for a circus routine.

The report details violent training sessions where frightened baby elephants who have been ripped from their mothers are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with sharp metal-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. One of the IEF's other co-founders is Gary Johnson, an elephant exhibitor who has been videotaped beating and shocking the elephant used in the film Water for Elephants.

Instead of supporting an organization that supports elephant exploitation, people can make a real difference by supporting legitimate elephant sanctuaries like the Performing Animal Welfare Society in California or The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

Yours truly,

Jennifer O'Connor
Staff Writer
PETA Foundation
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510




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Lehren March 30, 2015 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for sharing this, I was not sure whether or not to make a donation to IEF, but once I saw they had a partnership with Ringling Circus I wanted to further investigate. No way am I supporting anyone affiliated with those jerks, Ill find meaningful organizations.

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