PETA responds to circus elephants being used to hold up tractor-trailer on side of Louisiana highway

Mia Fitzharris
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PETA responds to circus elephants being used to hold up tractor-trailer on side of Louisiana highway

When a tractor-trailer carrying three elephants from New Orleans to Dallas got stuck on the side of the highway, the driver came up with a larger-than-life solution. He enlisted the help of two of the elephants onboard, Jenny and Vicki, to hold up the truck and prevent it from falling into a muddy ditch. Photos and videos of the incident quickly went viral. The elephants were being transported to Dallas to appear in the Shrine Circus.

Yahoo News spoke with Brittany Peet, deputy director of captive animal law enforcement at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an organization that has been leading the charge against the use of elephants in circus acts. She told us, “This was incredibly dangerous for the elephants and for the traffic going by. It was careless and reckless on the part of the circus. It’s just one more example of the reasons that elephants should not be used for entertainment. It really goes to show why it’s so important that Ringling Bros. recently made the decision to phase out elephant acts in their circuses by the year 2018. It underscores the urgent need for every other circus to do the same.”

We also spoke with Bill Cunningham, the owner of Shrine Circus, who told us, “The elephants were never at risk. They are so emotional that they sense danger and stress, and it was amazing how these two elephants knew what they needed to do.” And as for the driver’s decision to pull the tractor-trailer to the side of the highway, Cunningham said, “We stand by the driver’s decision to get rest and get off of the major interstate. He did the right thing.”