Elephants are amongst the world’s most intelligent species…Elephants exhibit a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, allomothering, mimicry, art, play, a sense of humor, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, memory and possibly language. All point to a highly intelligent species that are thought to be equal with cetaceans and primates. Due to the high intelligence and strong family ties of elephants, some researchers argue it is morally wrong for humans to cull them.
I don’t like PETA. No, correct that. What I don’t like is PETA’s tactics and messaging. Their publicity stunts (many extreme in concept & execution) have caused the group to become a laughing stock to most people. Sadly, their cooked up stunts drown out the very real topic of cruelty to animals.
This morning I happened on this series of photos about Ringling Bros. using electro shock to train the elephants used in their shows. The more I investigated the angrier I got. It is hard not to knowing about the intelligence of these great animals.
PETA is right on what is happening as it relates to the treatment of elephants by Ringling Bros. Circus.
A recent article from Live Science discusses elephant traits, their intelligence and their innate abilities to cooperate with humans and each other.
Elephants are widely regarded as possessing advanced brains, displaying levels of intelligence seen only in humans, dolphins, chimpanzees and others capable of higher forms of thinking. For instance, elephants recognize themselves in mirrors, learning that such reflections are images of themselves and not others, behavior apparently unique to species that show complex empathy and sociality.
Watching these two videos should be enough for you to take pause and to take action.
Next time the circus comes to town, you might want to skip it until Ringling Bros. cleans up its act.