Wildlife advocates hope awareness following Cecil’s death will motivate renaissance festival to cancel abusive elephant rides
October 1, 2015, SHAKOPEE, MN– The global outrage over Dr. Walter Palmer killing Cecil the lion outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe has put Minneapolis at “ground zero” of a public conversation about humanity’s relationship with the other species who share our planet and how to best preserve and protect them. In response, Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Animal Rights Coalition are asking Minnesotans to focus their concern for wildlife on the captive elephants suffering nearby and urge the Minnesota Renaissance Festival to cancel their abusive elephant rides. The annual renaissance festival in Shakopee runs through October 4th and event organizers have again brought back the same elephant ride company despite an ADI investigation which revealed widespread elephant abuse committed by handler Mike Swain.
Jan Creamer, ADI President: “We are appealing to the public not to pay to ride abused elephants. Paying for the rides pays for this appalling and unacceptable cruelty. We believe that once people see how these animals suffer behind the scenes, they will not endorse such behavior and hope that event organizers will take a responsible position and end the rides.”
ADI has released a video about the suffering behind the rides, “No Fun for Elephants,” with award-winning TV legend Bob Barker, who observes: “To many, it looks like harmless fun, but elephants pay a heavy price for the few minutes of entertainment they provide when giving rides. Isn’t it especially tragic when animals are suffering and being abused simply to entertain us?”
Local Animal Rights Coalition volunteer Dallas Rising said, “The world has come to know Cecil as an individual and his tragic death has challenged us to rethink our relationship with wildlife. Reducing these magnificent elephants to what amounts to an amusement park ride for a few minutes of entertainment shames us all and we can’t ignore their suffering right here in our own backyard.”
Local supporters of ADI and Animal Rights Coalition will be present at the festival to educate the public with leaflets and the video, and are urging the Minnesota Renaissance Festival to cancel the elephant and camel rides at this year’s festival and all future events. Event organizers have been invited to watch the No Fun For Elephants DVD and online video. http://bitly.com/nofunforelephants
On October 3, at 10:30am, local supporters of ADI and Animal Rights Coalition will be outside the Minnesota Renaissance Festival urging visitors to enjoy the festival but not support the elephant and camel rides.
|WHAT:||Elephant ride outreach at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival|
|WHEN:||October 3, 2015 at 10:30am|
|WHERE:||Minnesota Renaissance Festival|
|3525 145th St W Hwy 169, Shakopee, MN|
Elephant rides have been abandoned by several events after responsible board members viewed the evidence, including Orange County and Los Angeles County fairs, as well as the city of Fountain Valley, CA, and Santa Ana Zoo.
Learn more about “No Fun For Elephants,” ADI’s campaign to end the use of elephants for rides, performances and appearances at public events: http://bitly.com/NoFunForElephants
About Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing behind-the-scenes suffering in the industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals and educates the public.