I am writing to implore the people of Nevada County not to allow elephant rides at our county fair. The company called Have Trunk Will Travel has been videotaped abusing their elephants with bull hooks and electric prods.
The bull hook is a steel rod resembling a sharpened fireplace poker. It is used to prod, hook and strike elephants to achieve a desired behavior.
The bull hook is used to dominate and control elephants through fear of pain, and is even used on baby elephants, as you can see in this video posted by Animal Defenders International: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50wBdPhBQGo
Elephants are majestic creatures who are intelligent and self-aware. They are among the most socially-bonded animals on the planet, and display a complex array of emotions, including expressions of grief and compassion.
They mourn their dead, use tools, and communicate with each other over vast distances through sound. Elephants have intense, strong family bonds.
Wild females stay with their mothers, aunts and cousins for life.
Males do not leave the herd until their teens. The entire extended elephant family helps nurture and care for the young. For anyone who knows about elephants, seeing these complex, family-centered individuals chained and broken, performing demeaning tricks is simply heartbreaking.
My partner and I moved to this county because it is a community of people with values beyond profit, such as compassion, stewardship, and a strong sense of ethical correctness.
Please do not allow this kind of cruelty and suffering to come to our county.
If Have Trunk Will Travel is allowed to come to our county fair, I will not patronize the event and I will spread the word through family friends, and social media to boycott the fair.