Could You Forget Being Beaten? underline

Do you know what a bullhook is?

Bullhooks are long, metal rods with thick hooks on the end—and they're the tools that circus trainers use to beat elephants. Ringling Bros. and other circuses don't want you to know that they sink these hooks into the elephants' most sensitive body parts—like behind their ears, their trunks, and their feet―but they do. Far away from the big-top spotlight, no one hears the elephants cry out as these hooks sink into their skin. But now you know.

Could you forget being beaten? Elephants can't, either. Speak up for elephants who have had their spirits broken by printing out one of our signs below, snapping a pic, and uploading it as your photo on Facebook, MySpace, and wherever else you are online! If you don't have a printer, make your own sign.

Could You Forget Being Beaten? Could You Forget Being Beaten?
Click on the signs to download!

Get creative! Remember: The goal is to have your friends check out and learn about the circus, so grab their attention! We'll give you 1,000 points for e-mailing us at [email protected] with a screenshot of your photo—and we'll give you 250 bonus points for adding makeup or effects to really get the point across.


Elephants forced into circuses are often denied exercise and veterinary care.

Elephants in circuses are transported around the country in filthy, stifling trailers and boxcars.

Circus trainers use a barbaric device called a bullhook on elephants. Bullhooks resemble a fireplace poker and cause pain, suffering, and injuries.

Elephants used in circuses are kept in leg shackles that allow them to take only a single step forward or backward.

Elephants used in the circus are beaten, shocked, and whipped—over and over again—in order to make them perform tricks that are often painful and confusing to them.

Ricardo, an 8-month-old baby elephant, was euthanized after he fell off a circus pedestal and fractured his legs at Ringling's training compound.

Elephants do not perform grueling circus tricks unless they're forced to—often through the use of beatings and domination.

Constant confinement leads to unnatural behavior in elephants, such as head-bobbing and swaying, and causes deadly foot problems.

The Animal Welfare Act does not prohibit the use of bullhooks, whips, electric shock prods, or other devices that are commonly used by circus trainers on elephants.

Elephants can recognize each other from the sound of their calls.

Elephants engage in greeting ceremonies when a friend who has been away for some time returns to the group.

Elephant calves often suck their trunks for comfort, just as human babies suck their thumbs.

Baby elephants who lose their mothers have nightmares at night and wake up screaming.

Elephants experience joy, happiness, and sorrow, just as humans do. They even mourn the loss of other elephants.

The maximum life span of an elephant in the wild is approximately 70 years. Captive elephants die far sooner than their wild counterparts, often before their 40th birthday.

"No amount of entertainment is worth allowing the torture of other living beings. We will never attend another Ringling Bros. show."—Shanna Moakler

"Elephants need many acres to roam and suffer a great deal when chained or kept in cramped spaces for extended periods."—Pink

"You read about a lot of elephants going berserk in the circus, and it's obvious why they go berserk. It's because they're fricking tortured every day. I saw it myself."—Steve-O, who was once a circus clown

"Elephants, as far as I know, don't naturally ride on trains. I'm pretty sure the train was a man-made system, so I don't think elephants like trains. I think generally they prefer dirt … walking."—Alex Gaskarth, All Time Low

"I hate zoos and circuses. People shouldn't take their children to either one."—Tom of Tokio Hotel