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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)

This makes me sick. These animals live lives of horrible confinement and constant abuse. They are scared, lonely, and in constant pain and fear. NONE of Ringling Bros. elephants have ever lived a natural life expectancy of an elephant. Many of Ringling's elephants have died as children or adolescents. Most have developed crippling conditions, such as arthritis-- ailments that do not afflict young elephants in the wild. Please join the protest tonight or this week. Take a stand against this barbaric cruelty and suffering. Teach children compassion and kindness.

How about all you protesters go to East LA and Santa Ana and protest those sick macho dirt bags that have rooster and dog death fights and have puppy mills and torture animals for fun

Why did the city of LA allow use of public resources to display tortured and abused animals for private profit?

Ringling Bros.'s abuse of its elephants is well-documented on video ( circuses.com) and court testimony. Ringling Bros.'s rap sheet, going back decades, is a mile long. So, why do people cling to a mythical warm and fuzzy image of these thugs? Don't support them!

These boards are a great place to see how stupid, selfish and insensitive people are. Animals should not be exploited for profit. Watch MMA or UFC or boxing or criminals in the NFL, NBA et al and leave the poor animals alone.

I hate seeing these elephants walking on pavement in parades in urban environments. This sort of thing should be outlawed.

This is fabulous!! These animal organizations are getting very smart. There is a new pro-animal site geared towards the press--totally free--that is massively distributing their pro-animal video. The video is showing up on MTV, NBC, etc. A CNN story that just aired is at http://freeanimalvideo.org/about

This makes me cry. It's barbaric that still to this day there are people who don't realize that these wild animals are beaten and abused and live in misery and suffering in the name of entertainment.
Please boycott and protest Ringling Brothers for enslaving these beautiful gentle beings that should be living their lives for their own sakes...not for the USE of humans to amuse themselves.

It is well-documented that circus employees whip, shackle, bully, and beat animals with bullhooks to make them perform tricks.

The Los Angeles Times should investigate the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and inform the public of their abysmal track record of Animal Welfare Act violations.

Here is one of hundreds of videos documenting circus animal abuse. Please do not take your family to any circus that uses animals!

Suza Francina, Ojai Wildlife League

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