In a heart wrenching accident in Madrid, Spain on Monday, one circus elephant died and four more hurt are being treated for their injuries. The truck overturned on a highway linking Albacete with Murcia in the southern part of the country, as it tried to pass a slow moving vehicle. The elephants were part of the Circo Gottani circus which includes elephants, tigers and horses.
According to ElPais, the truck tipped over as it tried to get back into lane – most likely from an uneven distribution of weight from the five female elephants moving around inside of the truck. The driver wasn’t injured, but one of the elephants died at the scene of the accident.
The elephants’ circus trainers worked at keeping the elephants calm, however two of the animals suffered “serious injuries.” One had to be moved by a crane to clear the road. One photo showed one of the injured elephant’s foot wrapped in white bandages. It is not known how seriously he was injured.
“With five unpredictable animals, each one of them weighing three to four tons, accidents can happen no matter how much care has been taken,” stated Albacete’s police officer, Jose Amado.
Animal advocacy groups have criticized circuses and contend this is just the latest example of how circuses are a danger to both the physical and behavioral needs of wild animals. The town council explained the four elephants would be cared for by local authorities until another truck could be procured for their travel.
Just one month ago, a one-ton hippopotamus escaped from another Spanish circus. Fortunately he was safely captured after leading police on a one hour chase.
In the United States, Ringling Brothers Circus’ 11 female elephants performed for the last time in May 2016. They danced, they pedaled, they stood on each other and even stood on their heads. For 145 years, elephants just like these gals had traveled in trains and performed in cities as the banner of the circus displayed their acts. Only through years of legal battles and mounting scrutiny from advocacy groups and animal rights activists, did the public became aware of the cruelty and torture the elephants endured during their training and their endless journeys while chained, whipped and beaten into submission.
(Photos via screenshots and Twitter)
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