Annie, a 57-year-old Asian elephant, was filmed being kicked in the
face and body, and being shackled by heavy chains in the Bobby Roberts
Super Circus. Animal rights campaigners are calling for a ban on wild animals in circuses after they secretly filmed the abuse of the UK’s last circus elephant.
Elephant Annie was hit 48 times and was poorly fed, said pressure group Animal Defenders International, who secretly filmed the animal for three weeks.
“Annie’s tragic story symbolises the plight of circus animals and is a shocking indictment of the circus industry at a key time as Government considers a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses,” said ADI’s Jan Creamer.
“We have presented successive governments with extensive evidence from our undercover investigations over the years into UK circuses that proves conclusively that routine violence and deprivation is endemic within the industry.”
“To Lord Henley, the minister responsible, we say enough is enough. It is now time for him to act decisively to stop this appalling suffering. It is time for him to enact a total ban once and for all.”
She added: “I have no doubt that it will be claimed that this is an “exception” and or that the owner was not aware of the abuse, but the evidence is now conclusive.
“ADI has been concerned for Annie’s welfare for many years and has followed her tragic plight. Poor Annie has been with the circus for over 50 years since she was a baby.
“Elephants are social and extremely intelligent so this has been a living hell for her.”
Moira Roberts who runs the circus with her husband Bobby said they were “shocked and horrified” by the footage.
She said that the Romanian groom hired to care for the elephant had left the circus overnight.
She said: “I presume he is on his way back to where he came from. We wish we had been given the opportunity of prosecuting him and handing him over to the police.
“What has upset us more than anything is the fact that this filming took place five weeks ago. Why didn’t they tell us, why have they left it until now? We don’t know what Annie has gone through in the past five weeks.
“She is part of the family. She hasn’t performed for ten years and we certainly don’t earn any money from her.”
Watch the shocking video here.