Elephant Escape Video Reveals Carson & Barnes Circus Cruelty

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Shocking video footage from Butte, Montana, reveals that an elderly elephant, Viola, escaped from Jordan World Circus on Tuesday, April 16, and ran loose on city streets. She was supplied by Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Watch the dramatic elephant escape video now (contains graphic language):


ELEPHANT ON LOOSE IN BUTTE: An elephant got loose in Butte on Tuesday. The Jordan World Circus is in town tonight. The elephant is now safe with its handlers. Viewers say before the elephant was captured it did number two on a Butte lawn. Warning some strong language was said. 🎥Brittany McGinnisShare Your Photos and Videos: https://NBCMontana.com/ChimeIn

Posted by NBC Montana on Tuesday, April 16, 2024

In response, PETA has submitted an urgent complaint to federal authorities over the circus’s failure to protect both Viola and the public. Her desperate attempt to flee her weapon-wielding handler endangered many lives. We urge everyone to help keep elephants off the road by refusing to buy a ticket to any circus that forces them to perform.

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Our complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture requests that the agency investigate Carson & Barnes, hold it and any other responsible parties accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and ensure that Viola is thoroughly examined for injuries she may have sustained during her escape.

Viola has escaped at least two other times—in 2010 and 2014.

The elephant’s latest break for freedom comes after decades of abuse at the hands of Carson & Barnes, which has forced her to perform grueling, painful tricks for decades. Circus workers previously were caught on video electroshocking elephants and beating them with a sharp, steel-tipped weapon called a bullhook.

In 2021, a PETA investigation revealed that Viola was being forced to perform daily despite having chronically swollen feet and signs of other ailments impacting her rear legs.

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Elephants learn crucial social and behavioral skills from their mothers and other relatives, with whom they share intense emotional bonds. Instead of experiencing all this in their natural homes, elephants used in circuses are exploited—made to do meaningless circus tricks on the road.

Please politely urge Carson & Barnes to end all cruel animal acts, send the animals to reputable sanctuaries, and highlight human talent instead.

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