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Elephants march through downtown L.A. [Updated]


It may have caught some weary-eyed commuters off guard Tuesday morning to see the streets of downtown Los Angeles turned over to a predawn parade of pachyderms.

Seven Asian elephants linked tail-to-trunk in an orderly line lumbered along a 3-mile route from a train at 25th and Alameda streets to Staples Center. [For the record: This post previously stated incorrectly that the elephants marched from Union Station.]

The annual elephant walk was meant to drum up publicity for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. This year's show, "Barnum’s FUNundrum!" will run at Staples Center from Wednesday through July 18.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Six elephants from the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus complete a predawn walk from Union Station to Staples Center. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (59)

Amazing they still have these stupid circus processions displaying the poor abused and shackled elephants. How these animal torture shows still go on is beyond me.

Amazing they still have these stupid circus processions displaying the poor abused and shackled elephants. How these animal torture shows still go on is beyond me.

There will also be a protest from 5-7pm to draw attention to Ringling Bros. notorious mistreatment of their animals. Please research Ringling Bros. cruelty and join the protest!

The poor prostitute pachyderms. Sigh.

I think that people would be interested in the fact that the entire circus (animals, performers, wagons, etc) lives aboard and travels by train, just like in Dumbo or Water for Elephants.

The elephants are walking through the streets because this is how they are transported from the train to the venue.

There is nothing entertaining about this. It is animal cruelty. Shame on those who support this barbaric form of entertainment. Take your kids to a museum instead. Teach them to have compassion for these endangered animals...not exploit them.

JOIN THE PROTEST! Ringling Bros. tortures elepants and baby elephants...speak up for these gentle creatures who are ripped from their habitats, beaten with metal rods, electrically shocked, kept in chains and mistreated in a myriad of ways. Sponsored by a variety of animal welfare organizations.
Protest will be ....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA

Stop this abuse. What goes on behind the scenes is what is going to be exposed. Ringling Bros. has a long history of tormenting elephants and their babies, using shocks, metal rods to beat, chains, food depravation and denying these gentle beast just about anything that is natural to them.
Don't go to Ringling Bros. circuses. All animal welfare organizations have gone behind the scenes of these circuses to show how horribly treated these animals are! Take your kids and money elsewhere.

Thanks Tony for this really amusing story, am really curious to know more about what people thought seeing 6 full size elephants on the downtown streets during morning hours.
Growing up in India, I did witness elephants and camels led by mahouts on Delhi streets, but one would be lucky to catch them there anymore. I do feel kinda nostalgic, funny!


I feel so sorry for those elephants. I hope they don't snap and kill someone.

Sad sight to see. These elephants are snatched from their mothers as babies and poked, prodded, and tied-down until so-called "animal behaviorists" break them down. This is no way for elephants to live or behave. They are very family oriented animals and need to be with their herd.

Please don't support circuses who exploit animals. Go to PETA site and read more on the abuse baby elephants have to endure to be "trained".


I haven't been to Ringling Bros. for many, many years and I won't go so long as they continue to enslave animals like these for entertainment. I'll wait and see Cirque du Soliel - a much better show without the needless exploitation. It seems a shame to me that the city of Los Angeles continues to do business with Ringling Bros. and allow a commercial parade of mistreated wild animals on our streets. This is a circus model that is from the dark ages.

I like the idea of the circus but the potential for animal abuse has always dissuaded me from going to any performances.


Cruel. Horrible. How barbaric. That is NOT entertainment.

Everyone loves a Circus .


Yeah, here comes the Saddest Show on Earth with one of the worst records of animal and elephant abuse on record. These magnificent animals do not belong on hard concrete in the middle of a busy metropolitan downtown area just so some inhumane people can make money off the backs of innocent creatures. People - there are PLENTY of circuses that are humane and do not use any animals in their acts - take your children to those circuses instead. You can Google and find out which ones they are. We just protested at the LA Zoo to get Billy the elephant freed to a sanctuary. We will be there tomorrow night at the Staples Center - opening night of the Saddest Show on Earth. It's only a matter of time before one of these amazing creatures finally cracks from all the abuse and deprivation, and kills someone. People please Google Ringling Bros. and learn for yourselves their horrendous record of animal abuse and find out how they obtain these elephants in the first place. I hope the LA Times will do a story on this. It is beyond horrifying and shameful.



I always feel sorry for circus critters.

How sad. Elephants used for the Ringling Circus, and any circus that uses animals, are subject to a life of horrific abuse including electro-shock, bullhook beatings, and constant confinement. They are made to perform under the under the threat of violence. The photos of the babies being violently trained breaks my heart! Anyone who supports cruelty to animals by attending the circus is disgusting. I hope that the LA Times covers any protests held in LA against the circus, not just this pathetic walk through town. www.RinglingBeatsAnimals.com

Everyone should boycot the circus. No support should be given to these animal abusers! There are MUCH better things you could be doing with your children than taking them to the stupid circus!

cruel, cruel, cruel - stampede anyone?

Stop the abuse for profit and put the animals in a protected zoo/preserve now that you ruined their ability to be in the wild.

Federal Lawsuit against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for Elephant Abuse goes to Trial


These animals aren't meant to do this. Go to a museum. Circuses are a bad example for kids.

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