Kansas City Renaissance Festival ends elephant rides from abusive company citing patrons’ concerns
April 21, 2017 KANSAS CITY, KS— The Kansas City Renaissance Festival has cancelled their elephant rides, citing the concerns of their valued patrons’ “countless letters, phone calls and Facebook messages asking to end this outdated ride.” Animal Defenders International (ADI) has been working for years to end the rides, sharing shocking video evidence of elephant abuse with the festival owner, Jim Peterson, and organizing outreach events during the festival. Volunteers educated attendees with leaflets and signs reading, “pay to ride, pay for abuse.”
ADI 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?”
Scenes in the video show animal handler, Mike Swain, viciously beating and shocking elephants from Trunks and Humps, the company that provides the elephant, Page, to this event.
ADI President, Jan Creamer said, “We applaud the Kansas City Renaissance Festival for listening to their patrons and ending these cruel and dangerous elephant rides. ADI’s investigations show elephants from the provider, Trunks and Humps, are forced to perform through fear and violence. We are proud of the compassionate local citizens who have protested with ADI, and we have no doubt these efforts made the difference in bringing these abusive rides to an end.”
ADI will follow up with the festival owner to make sure his decision to shun elephant rides will include all of his festival locations.
Elephant rides have been abandoned by several events after responsible decision makers viewed the evidence, including: the Bristol Renaissance Faire, Grays Harbor County Fair, Jaycees Gregg County Fair, Lake Renaissance Festival, Upland Lemon Festival, Los Angeles County Fair, Orange County Fair, Nevada County Fair, San Diego County Fair, Kern County Fair, Fountain Valley Easter event, Santa Ana Zoo, Sierra Madre Independence Day parade, Curacao Children’s Festival and the city of Surprise, Arizona.
Animal Defenders International (ADI): Los Angeles – London – Bogota
Ending the suffering of animals in captivity and protecting wild animals and their environments
Active worldwide to end the suffering of animals: animals in entertainment – film, television, advertising, circuses and sport or leisure; animals used for food or fur; protection of wildlife and the environment; trade in animals; zoos, pets, entertainment and laboratories. Funding and promotion of advanced scientific methods to replace the use of animals in research. ADI investigates, produces evidence and reports on the scientific, legal and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions. Education and awareness to public, media and officials. Where ADI’s evidence has been a catalyst for change, we collaborate with governments to conduct large-scale seizures of wild animals in captivity and relocate them to forever homes – back to their natural habitat wherever possible.