Statement by Animal Defenders International in response to circus elephant killed in Spain.

Tragedy has struck after a truck transporting five circus elephants from Circo Gottani crashed on the A-30 today near Albacete, Spain; reportedly two elephants have been injured and one animal tragically killed. 

ADI President Jan Creamer said: “This terrible incident symbolizes all that is wrong with the use of animals in traveling circuses. Instead of a life in the wild, these incredible animals are being carted around the country, confined and forced to perform. Please don’t visit a circus with animals and help stop their suffering today.”

In January, four circus elephants were stranded on the highway for hours when the bottom of the truck they were being transported in began to give way during the journey from Oklahoma to Iowa.

Studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that circuses cannot meet the physical or behavioral needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, spending excessive amounts of time shut in transporters. These animals are often seen behaving abnormally; rocking, swaying and pacing, all indicating that they are in distress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence has shown how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.

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