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.