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Elephants need to be free to roam

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Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:00 am, Wed Jan 18, 2012.

I am writing in regards to your article "Former circus elephant collapses, is euthanized."

Elephants, who in their natural homelands walk 30 miles a day, suffer crippling foot ailments due to lack of exercise in circuses. Foot infections and arthritis are the leading causes of death among captive elephants. Independent veterinarians have concluded that many of the elephants now traveling with Ringling Bros. Circus are lame or suffering from arthritis.

Sabu is the 77th elephant to die at zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 2000. More than half of these elephants died before they turned 40, far short of their life expectancy in the wild. Twenty-three newborns and babies under the age of two have also perished.

Deep appreciation to the Performing Animal Welfare Society for allowing Sabu to spend his last days in peace and comfort, and free of fear from the bullhook.

Jennifer O'Connor

PETA Foundation

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