Monday, October 21, 2013

An Elephant on a stool

I went to the circus with my kids when they were little. Being so young and unaware of the real habitat of the gracious animals, they loved it. It almost brought me to tears. There is nothing sadder than an elephant sitting on a stool. I vowed that I would never take my children to see captive elephants EVER again. Or tigers, or whales.....the list goes on. My children gained NOTHING of importance from seeing those circus elephants, except perhaps in hindsight they will look back and regret seeing such beauty in such an awful circumstance.

I was born in Kenya. We saw elephants in the wild. Once we were travelling by car to Mombassa and there were elephant on the road. With lights out and fearful quiet, we waited until they passed, respectful and fearful of these powerful animals in the wild. 

I am proud to announce that Toronto no longer has elephants. That's right. The 3 remaining elephants from the Toronto Zoo left Toronto last Thursday for a 4200 KM journey on a flat bed truck to the PAWS sanctuary in California. After years of planning, debate and training the elephants to get in and out of the huge crates they would later be trucked in.

The convoy arrived yesterday evening safely in California, greeted by Bob Barker who funded their journey. They will spend the rest of their days freely roaming the 2500 acre sanctuary with other elephants. 

The controversy over captive elephants is not a new one and slowly elephants are being removed from the world's zoos and finding refuge in a sanctuary.  If you want to watch a documentary about freeing elephants there is a fabulous one HERE

I hope that elephants in zoos and circuses are going to be a thing of the past. While our children may not ever see a live elephant, they will grow up learning that these beautiful animals live in far away lands and be able to learn about them from video, not seeing them parade in a circus or zoo.


  1. Totally agree - I've always hated circuses. Wild animals are so called because that's where they should be - in the wild.

  2. Chania, we feel the very same way...I won't go to the circus or zoos anymore, I just can't stand either one even though I know that some zoos have helped to save various species.


  3. Great post Chania . . . maybe children will be taught that some animals are meant for the wild, not to be contained and watched sitting on a stool . . . and called Dumbo.

  4. Have you read the news of the cyanide killing in Africa? Someone is poisoning the waterholes killing countless elephants and other animals. One step forward, then this.jd

  5. Our entire world is sad to me today how animals are treated
    I grew up just reading about Africa and wild animals with out seeing them and I became a healthy adult without seeing a caged animal that is mistreated

    evil is running wild in our earth now

  6. I've gone from thinking that the circus is a 'must-see' to wondering why they need wild animals? Some of the best acts that I can recall involved human acrobatics and daring-do, and are closely seconded by some very entertaining and well-trained dogs. I agree that it is time to be more humane. But zoos are needed to help preserve endangered species. I support our local zoo, which generally has generously-sized natural habitats.


  7. I had the same experience Chania - when the kids were small - horrific - except I can clearly remember one of my daughters in tears because they actually had a chain on the Elephants leg.
    It's horrific what we do to animals for the sake of entertainment - same thing with the killer whales - breaks my heart really - these majestic huge animals locked up in tiny spaces.
    Good for Toronto - hope every major city that does this follows suit!
    We have Granby Zoo and Park Safari - where at least they can roam somewhat................

  8. Missing your posts....hope all is well


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania