PETA plans to chain up 6-year-old boy dressed in an elephant costume | Buzz Blog
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PETA plans to chain up 6-year-old boy dressed in an elephant costume


  • Photo courtesy of PETA
Tonight's Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus spectacular Legends promises "mythical and mysterious creatures of the past: a unicorn, a Pegasus and a woolly mammoth!" And, thanks to PETA, a 6-year-old boy in chains dressed as an elephant. 

The elephant boy is part of PETA's protest against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's treatment of circus elephants. According to PETA, "baby elephants used by Ringling are taken away from their mothers and chained for up to 23 hours a day" and are "gouged with steel-tipped hooks and shocked with electric rods."

"This boy is an advocate for animals who refuses to stay on the sidelines in the face of Ringlings cruelty to elephants," says Amy Meyer, a special projects coordinator at PETA and a resident of Salt Lake City. "He has the full support of his mother and she'll be right there with him at the protest."

PETA has a long history of setting up shop whenever the circus comes to town, as well as a history of using children as protesting props. In 2013, PETA asked locals to bring their kids to Lagoon for a protest against the amusement park's alleged poor treatment of animals. But today's protest takes it a step further.

"Numerous children have joined PETA demonstrations over the last several years," Meyer says. "This boy, like many children, cares about animals and he was shocked to learn that these animals, who would normally roam up to 30 miles a day, are kept in chains hour after hour, and sometimes days on end when they're used in the circus." 

According to PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders, "Salt Lake City residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how baby elephants are violently forced to perform difficult, confusing and sometimes painful tricks. PETA is telling parents and grandparents that since children love animals, the last place that families should go to is the circus."

When asked if putting a kid in chains might have a different effect than the one PETA is hoping for, Meyer responded, " Well, I know, I ... I don't think so. I think if it's a scene that people are shocked to see, it's because they know it's wrong to chain elephants."

The chained-up elephant boy can be seen at the intersection of South Temple and 300 West beginning at 6 p.m.