When happiness is your own sandpit and no chains
For Annie the elephant, life is good – finally. Just two days into her new life at the Longleat Safari Park in England, she’s settled in and treating her new abode like it’s always been home.
A worldwide outpouring of anger and support freed Annie from shocking abuse at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus. The Asian elephant was videoed by an animal protection group as she was being kicked and struck with a pitchfork there.
“Without doubt, it is the worldwide outpouring of public horror that has forced the circus to hand over this elephant,” said Tim Phillips of Animal Defenders International (ADI), which took the undercover video. “Everyone is overjoyed that Annie is safe and we look forward to her having a bright future in her final years.”
Asian elephants generally live into their early 60s, and Annie is already about 57 years old. It’s remarkable that she’s survived so long and is doing so well in her new home. ADI and elephant experts will watch her over the coming weeks to see if she’s happy at Longleat or needs to be at another sanctuary in the company of others of her own kind.
TV celebrity Simon Cowell is among the many celebrities who have donated to Annie’s future care. “I hope this will help all the similar animals also in distress. I urge everyone to get behind this campaign,” Cowell said.
What do you say? We’d all agree that animals should not be abused the way Annie was. But should animals be allowed in circuses and other entertainment at all? Let us know by commenting below or on Facebook.
What you can do: You can send a donation to support Annie’s care at the Longleat Safari Park, which is creating a $1.5-million enclosure, with swimming pool, wading area and central heating for up to six rescued elephants. Elephant sanctuaries in the U.S. include The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and the Performing Animal Welfare Society in California.