In a report on a Romanian circus taken from The Daily Mail on 7th April 2011, Nick Fagge open up with piece of happy storytelling, "Waving their feet in the air, these three circus elephants risk crippling injuries every night as they are forced to sit in this unnatural position to amuse crowds." That's a rather melodramatic description of an elephant sitting up by the way. Fagge gets to the hind legs later, "And rearing up on their back legs, they must attempt to stand on another's back before marching out of the ring..." An animal putting their front legs onto the back of another animal! Sounds very unnatural... and yet somehow familiar. This ring any bells?
And elephants don't have to make war to show this behaviour. If we are to plant our tongues firmly in our cheeks and follow the anthropomorphic route they love to imply, infer and allow in their disciples, elephants can make something else. Something that seems to come rather naturally to most creatures outside of the single cell community... What was that song by The Bloodhound Gang?
But I digress... Elephants have a natural balance and have often been photographed standing on their hind legs in order to reach leaves on tall trees in the wild. Take a look at these images taken from Africa Geographic Safari Interactive Magazine.
Circus elephants have sat up and stood up on their hind legs for decades and remained in good health. There is no correlation cited in studies between the huge numbers of trained circus elephants that have been trained to stand, sit and walk on their hind legs and arthritis. So, an image can inspire different reactions, but this all depends on how the lens we look through has been coloured. You can go and see an animal performing a display and be enchanted by the story being told. Equally you can listen to another story about elephants suffering skeletal and internal due to being made to perform this rearing or sitting action. Or you can consult real studies and look to nature itself to determine whether or not this is really a damaging or unnatural action.
...Then there was the story about the Mae Taman elephant park in northern Thailand. On 23rd February 2007 Josh Woodfin reported in the Daily Express on a group of playful ex-timber logging pachyderms shooting hoops on their own. I kid you not. Completely unattended in the park, the young elephants have applied the skills they once used for logging to "play basketball".
Via: OnlineSchools.org Astley's Legacy was formed to counter the misinformation and propaganda spread by animal rights activists. As well as fighting the corner for circus animals and their trainers, we are here to promote and celebrate the cultural heritage of circus in general, and especially in the country of its birth - Great Britain. For more information please see our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/223570581049199/