Actress Jorja Fox (who plays CSI’s Sarah Sidle) released a new video message about circus animal abuse today, on behalf of Animal Defenders International (ADI). Fox is seen holding a bullhook, a weapon used to control elephants saying, “This is a bullhook it’s heavy, it’s sharp, and it hurts,” she continues, “This is the weapon of choice for elephant circus performers. It is used to get elephants to perform tricks to amuse people.”
The 90-second PSA tells the story of one elephant, Krissy, who was captured from the wild in Africa in 1984 at the age of two and eventually ended up in America where she is hired out by Texas based Trunks and Humps to work in traveling circuses and give rides at fairs.
An ADI undercover field officer filmed a Texas based circus elephant trainer savagely beating Krissy and another elephant with bullhooks and golf club and even electric shocking the elephants. At one point she is dragged to her knees and kicked in the face by the trainer, who continues to work with elephants. The video also shows Krissy kept on chains and in a transporter when not giving rides at fairs. The brutal scenes are juxtaposed with breathtaking images of a family of wild elephants living free in Africa. (1)
Jorja says, “I wanted to help this campaign because I believe elephants are like stardust, something magical. Intelligent, gentle giants whose life revolves around family, love, affection and companionship.” She concludes, “These mighty, magical creatures exemplify all that is wrong with traveling circus: The confinement; the deprivation; the social isolation; the barren environment; and the violence.”
In November, Jorja Fox joined Bob Barker, Congressman Jim Moran and the ADI team for the launch of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359) in Congress. The Act would outlaw the use of animals like elephants in traveling shows and at fairs where they are forced to live in traveling accommodation.
Fox says, “It is time for people to realize these circus and elephant rides at fairs are not harmless fun. These are living animals whose lives have been destroyed. I urge people to get in touch with their Member of Congress and ask them to help end this suffering.”
The CSI star’s crusade to end the suffering of elephants in entertainment also includes screenings this weekend of ‘How I became an Elephant’ at the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida and the First Glance Film Festival in Hollywood. The film, produced by Fox, explores the treatment of elephants through the eyes of a 14 year old girl.
ADI U.S: http://adiusa.org
ADI international: http://www.ad-international.org
photo: Animal Defenders International