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July 31, 2013
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Allowing the elephant rides a cruel decision

I am one of many Nevada County fair-goers, in addition to being a concerned citizen of this county — not associated with any animal rights organization — who has made my decision on whether I want elephants at the fair, and the answer is no!

I don’t want to support an organization like Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), that consistently abuses elephants, by attending the fair.

I don’t want to have HTWT tarnish the community and reputation of our Nevada County Fair.

After reading the article from HTWT, it appears they think we are ignorant, small-town people. And it’s in their best interest if we are, because ignorance really is bliss, and it breeds complacency.

Here’s what I know … I know that the film from ADI showing how HTWT trains the elephants shows real abuse (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50wBdPhBQGo).

It was edited to show the moments of abuse when a pointed bull hook or electric shock was used to dominate the elephants, put them in a state of fear and make them do unnatural tricks, like cluck like a chicken.

I know that several organizations in California have severed ties with HTWT in their municipalities and venues because of how poorly HTWT treats the animals.

I know that there is no penalty or cost if Nevada County decides to cancel HTWT at our fair in August.

I understand that to children, riding an elephant sounds like fun because they might not know how much pain, suffering and torture the elephants endured for their enjoyment.

Give your children the facts: The elephants are struck, prodded and electrocuted to make them perform unnaturally for our entertainment.

If the children heard the cries from the mother and baby elephants when the babies are torn away from the mother — especially if they knew that the female babies stay with their mothers and families for life and the male babies stay for approximately 13 years — and if they saw how baby elephants are “broken” by being tied and stretched by each limb and then beaten by their caretakers and trainers, they would stand up as well to protest the use of elephants … my child has.

My child can’t comprehend why people are allowed to chain an elephant so it can only move a few feet up and back or side to side when an elephant would normally walk around 30 miles a day in its natural habitat.

Teaching our children compassion and caring are far more valuable than cheap entertainment, especially when that entertainment involves proven cruelty.

What drives me and others in this community to speak out on behalf of the elephants? The truth!

Marie O’Donnell lives in Grass Valley.


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The Union Updated Jul 31, 2013 12:26AM Published Jul 31, 2013 12:26AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.