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"Oh Cute... A tricycle for an elephant"  
   

"Oh Cute... A tricycle for an elephant"

At first glance one may think this, however the sign that is in front of it is telling... it encourages us to imagine training an elephant to ride it. This is a another important topic to consider when we view elephants doing tricks and living their lives as performers in circuses (and in some zoos- some are still expected to do tricks for visitors, as was true at the Oregon Zoo. I witnessed an elephant trainer commanding the big bull elephant Tusko to do a series of tricks, including standing on his head- which he did). The training that elephants (especially young elephants that are energetic and full of life) have to go through would break most of our hearts if we were to know what they have had to go through. If you are truly interested in knowing, please do a little reading on a long standing tradition in Asia called the "crushing ritual"... which basically consists of placing the young elephant in a crate, and inflicting pain upon them until their spirit is broken, aka "crushed." Many believe that harsh training techniques are necessary to control an animal larger than ourselves. However, there has been plenty of success with elephants using positive reinforcement techniques, showing that many of these past training methods are outdated. The consequences of a life filled with fear of punishment, a life in chains or captivity, having to live a life of submission, and isolation from the elephant's original family and preferred social groups are emotionally and psychologically damaging to the elephants we come to visit. Each elephant and animal we see has a past life history that has brought them in front of us. Please pause for just a few moments to consider this.
How are animals treated in Zoos and Circuses? (What you should know). Are there other options for seeing wild animals? Yes... Isn't it time we switch our support, and encourage the development of more wildlife sanctuaries?

January 3rd 2008
Please remember and be reasssured: You do not have to be or become an animal rights' fanatic to learn and care about animals living in captivity: So saying that, before I leave on this "journey for the animals" I plan on visiting the Oregon Zoo in Portland (which I did on January 3rd, 2008- see photos for comments). In the process of my research on animals living in captivity, it is important f ... read more
North America » United States » Oregon » Portland

American Flag Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the origina... ... read more
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