A Ringling Bros. Circus elephant collapsed to the ground Sunday, enraging animal activists everywhere.
The elephant named Sarah, 54, was boarding a rail car when she collapsed. Her collapse caused quite the stir, shedding light on what animal activists claim is inadequate treatment of the circus animal.
The collapse was caught by an eyewitness and has stirred Animal Activists who claim Sarah was not being treated for an illness that handlers had been aware of.
According to a CBS report, Ringling Bros. said that the elephant was being escorted by handlers up the ramp when she shifted her position and started backing down the ramp which caused her to lose her balance. She then kneeled and rolled down the ramp onto the ground.
But Matt Rossell of Animal Defenders International says it wasn’t just a simple stumble and fall and is demanding that Sarah be taken off the road.
“Sarah is sick and the stress and fatigue has likely led to this dangerous fall. This elephant needs to be taken off the road immediately so she can be properly evaluated and treated by a veterinarian,” said Matt Rossell, Campaigns Director for Animal Defenders International in a statement. “Many traveling elephants are sick and still forced to perform—and incidents like Sarah’s fall underline the dangers faced by animals chained and caged in this impoverished life on the road.”
Sign On San Diego reported that just last month, the USDA cited Ringling Bros. in Colorado Springs for failing to treat Sarah, who is suffering from a chronic condition with pus-like discharge in her urine. According to Huffington Post, the documentation says that the handlers ignored her treatment and insisted her problems stemmed from a chronic fistula that was under control.
ADI has filed a formal complaint for USDA to check on the elephant and will be hosting a protest and outreach event at the opening night of Ringling Bros. next stop in Ontario, Canada, Wednesday August 10.