Although mankind did coexist with wildlife since time immemorial there has been change in trend in how the two associate. There are cases in which animals from the wild have been captured and trained for entertainment purposes (Kregerk 93). It is worth noting that despite the fact that people feel entertained by circuses that entail animals especially elephants, they know very little or completely nothing about the suffering the animal under go during captivity and training. This paper thus seeks to critically bring forth how they are captured from the wild and the impact of cruel treatment they receive and the deplorable condition in which they inhabit.
Training of elephants in circus and their effects
It is worth noting that majority of elephants taken for training is juveniles who are taken from the wild. Shockingly, poachers go to an extent of killing their mothers so that they can have control of these young majestic animals. Having in mind that these animals have strong social bound, effective communication systems, ability to mourn their dead and a wide habitat range, confining them to small cages is inhuman and cruel to such animals. The physical beating, shocking and whipping elephants receive during training so that they perform during circus are inflicted with unbearable pain (Alward 124) There are cases where young elephants and physically disabled or even die from injuries associated with the beatings. Additionally being restricted in confined cages denies elephants the opportunity to exercise their roaming freedom. On the same note, in captivity they are not allowed to mingle with other. Being highly social animals, this make them stressed up. Interestingly, when individual elephants are separated for long, their family ties are torn apart.
In cases where some are given birth to while in captivity, there are limited chances of them being released back to the wild; and if that could happen individual would definitely have very limited chances of surviving in the wild. According to Alward 79 there are also chances that individuals in captivity will interbreed. The negative implication of this scenario is that the population in the long run will lack genetic diversity and may be serious impacted in future.
For instance bring forth individuals that are not well suited in coping with the existing conditions. Lastly, the deplorable conditions which they are subjected to such as being left in the sun, sleeping on their waste make them prone to suffering from diseases such as foot and mouth, joint diseases causing premature deaths of those in captivity.
Ethos and Logos
On the other hand, there are individuals who see nothing wrong when using animals especially elephants in entertaining people. It is claimed that their culture is what makes them do what they are doing. Additionally, such activities they say help them mark certain important historical event in their lives.
It is actually a form of cultural identity. Another argument in support of elephant in circus is that it helps in enhancing the conservation of the endangered species. However, considering the treatment they receive, opponents are left with unanswered question with regards to conservation initiatives (Jaynes par. 4). The amount of money generated from such entertainment shows as circus in which elephants are used to perform certain unusual tricks have also been used to justify the case.
From the review of elephants in circus, there are indeed issues of concern that need to be addressed. Asian elephants that are used in such entertainment activities are in fact threatened and their population declining at a pace that replenishing cannot match. The brutal treatment they are subjected to as well as confinement work against efforts of conserving these majestic social animals. Although culture and monetary value derived from the activity can be used to justify the while thing, there is need for Americans to rethink their views on such wild animals.
Alward, Lori. Why circuses are unsuited to elephants. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. Print.
Jaynes, Mike. How Circus Elephants Are Abused by Their Trainers, 2011 viewed on 12 Apr. 2011 http://animalrights.
about.com/od/animalsinentertainment/a/JaynesElephant2.htm Kregerk, Michael. Canvas to concrete: Elephants and the circus-zoo relationship. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.