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Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

Feld Entertainment Circus Elephants Finally Find a Home

Take equal parts dealing with Trump as President and then COVID and you have an explanation for why I didn’t notice that there was a piece of outstandingly good news beginning in 2020.

The Feld Entertainment/Ringling Brothers elephants I had written about in the past have finally found a good and loving home in a sanctuary in northern Florida.

For years I followed the animal welfare court cases related to Feld Entertainment’s indifferent and callous care of the elephants in the organization’s famous circus. I had though of writing a book on the longest of the court cases, Animal Welfare Institute (formerly ASPCA) vs. Feld Entertainment. Even today, one of my most popular web pages is a PDF listing incidents with elephants in circuses in North America.

When Kenneth Feld retired the Ringling Brothers Circus, and the circus elephants, they were out of sight out of mind but we all knew their care would continue to be indifferent, their future dismal.

Now, the elephants run free at the White Oak sanctuary, in a lovely home with lakes and forests and they’re no longer chained up for days at a time on cold concrete.

Though Feld Entertainment is attempting to paint themselves in the best light with this move, they sold the elephants to the sanctuary; they did not give the elephants to the sanctuary. I suspect the reason why is equal parts Feld’s daughters telling him to move on and the cost and upkeep of the elephants when Feld Entertainment was hit by COVID losses. Regardless of the underlying reasons behind it all, we can celebrate the fact that Feld no longer has elephants and the elephants, and we, can all move on to something better.

 

Categories
Critters People

The Rule of Small Deer

There were three deer on the path in front of me.

They didn’t run when they saw me. They just stood there staring at me. Finally, as one, they moved: one pawed the ground, one began eating the leaves from a small bush, the third started walking towards me.

Deer are supposed to run from people, not approach us. I walked closer to the deer coming towards me and it didn’t stop.  I stamped my foot and it didn’t stop. I raised my arms and waved and it didn’t pause, didn’t blink, didn’t stop. I turned around to go back and only then did it head back to the other two.

I turned around, back towards the deer. The little bold one swung around back to me, as if it were on a string pulled by my movements. I began to walk towards it, thinking this time it would shy away. It didn’t. I moved closer until I could see the ragged edges of its fur and the tiny black at the center of its eyes. Still, it came.

I didn’t know what to make of the deer, but I could imagine.

I imagined it had run from humans one too many times. Run from the food and the best footing and the last of the sunshine. Run back into the trees and the shadows and the low branches waiting to trip it and the bushes already picked clean.

Probably decided to hell with it. Yes, that’s it. To hell with it. You push anything hard enough, even a small deer, and they’ll think to hell with it.

Categories
Critters Photography

No Worries

two chimps in a tree