Circus Position Statement
Amboseli Elephant Research Project
P.O. Box 15135
To Whom It May Concern
We, the undersigned, form a group of elephant researchers working together to study elephants and promote their conservation and welfare. Our combined experience represents over 200 years of work with free-ranging, wild African elephants. We are the acknowledged leading experts in the field.
It is our considered opinion that elephants should not be used in circuses. Elephants in the wild roam over large areas and move considerable distances each day. They are intelligent, highly social animals with a complex system of communication. No captive situation can provide elephants with the space they need for movement or with the kind of social stimulation and complexity that they would experience in the wild. To watch an elephant family in the wild is a glorious experience. Led by the oldest female--the matriarch--the family is bonded by kinship, affiliation, experience, great loyalty and affection. Elephants in circuses are confined and chained for hours, are bought and sold, separated from companions, and frequently moved about. In short they are treated as objects of entertainment for humans.
We believe that such intelligent, socially complex and long-lived animals should be treated with respect and empathy. An elephant’s place is in the wild with its relatives and companions. The totally unnatural existence for captive elephants in a circus is a travesty and to allow this practice to continue is unjustified and unethical.
The Amboseli Elephant Research Project Elephant Experience
Cynthia Moss, Director 33 years
Sandy J. Andelman 5 years
Harvey Croze 33 years
Iain Douglas-Hamilton 36 years
Phyllis C. Lee 19 years
W. Keith Lindsay 25 years
Hamisi Mutinda 11 years
Joyce H. Poole 26 years
Soila Sayialel 14 years