[VIDEO] Elephants Remain a Big Part of Royal Hanneford Circus

Ringmaster Billy Martin: Care for animals a "25-hour" a day job.

As the Royal Hanneford Circus continues its run this weekend at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, it's hard to miss three of the biggest attractions of the show — the elephants.

Ringmaster Billy Martin says the circus takes pride in its three elephants, and in the care that the circus staff gives the animals. He calls it a "25-hour" a day job making sure the elephants are well cared for.

The 38th annual showing of the circus at the County Center began on Saturday, and continues Sunday and Monday. Shows run Feb. 16, 17, and 18 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Tickets to the Royal Hanneford Circus are available at the Westchester County Center Box Office or on ticketmaster.com198 Central Ave, White Plains. $23.50

Lynne Burke-Rosner February 18, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Next stop St Joseph. See you there.
Theresa Flora February 18, 2013 at 02:53 PM
It's hard to take any of you seriously. Tell me you don't love a nice veal or chicken parm. A little surf & turf. Take a good hard look at your hypocrisy.
Cj Ellie February 18, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Mr. Tanner, You clearly have not been keeping up with science and research on elephants. They in fact mirror humans in age progression, family structure, they exhibit every emotion that humans do, mourn their dead, can express happiness, sadness and suffer from depression. 12% of captive elephant in the US have been diagnosed with Tuberculosis, the human strain. http://circustb.webs.com/ Dr. Gay Bradshaw has diagnosed elephants with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder years ago. "Elephants on the Edge” is very thoroughly researched and beautifully presented-a devastating, scientific chronicle of the ignorance, cruelty, and mismanagement that placed these magnificent creatures in their present dire situation. "Science leaders have reached a critical consensus: Humans are not the only conscious beings; other animals, specifically mammals and birds, are indeed conscious, too." http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf
Ann Fanizzi February 18, 2013 at 05:07 PM
@Flora - Don't embarrass yourself - you're latest post just confirms my previous one about stereotypes. I'm vegetarian. As for hypocrisy, do have anything to say about the dog acts in the circuses?
Theresa Flora February 18, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Ann, is your dog a vegan?
Ann Fanizzi February 18, 2013 at 06:01 PM
There you go again, Flora - embarrassing yourself - don't know the difference between a vegan and vegetarian and I don't have a dog.
eatingdogfood February 18, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Annie, isn't there a tree you should be hugging?
Nummy February 18, 2013 at 08:18 PM
The only thing wrong with tree huggers are the splinters
Kim February 18, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Interesting to note the lone dissenter about this, mr. tanner, seems to have trouble following the logic. Maybe we should state the case more simply so he can understand: bull hooks, beatings, isolation, and electric shocks = bad. Elephants driven insane and charging audiences and killing people = bad. Your argument about poachers is simply another issue. You don't fix the poacher problem by putting elephants in circuses. You fix the poaching problem.
eatingdogfood February 18, 2013 at 08:30 PM
I liked my eggs poached.
Brian O February 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM
you're barking up the wrong tree
JM February 18, 2013 at 11:27 PM
As long as they truly do care for the elephants (and the elephants aren't lonely in this human circus) given what is happening in Indonesia and across Africa, these entertaining pachyderm are probably better off. Poaching of these wonderful creatures has reached record levels recently and threatens all the protective measures humans have put in place the past 20 yrs. And all because a few ''hundred million'' Chinese who earn $100K a year want to wear an ivory ring or collect ivory objet dárt for their mantel...
Kim February 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM
They do not care for the elephants given what we know about the barbaric training methods. Also, poaching is poaching. Circuses are circuses. They are distinct issues. You can't solve one evil with another evil. That is like arguing that it is okay for orphans to be sold into child slavery because, hey, it is better than starving to death in an orphanage. It is just absurd. Or why not clear out animal shelters and sell them to laboratories, because, hey, better to be alive in a lab than killed in a gas chamber. Circuses are the issue here. They treat wild animals horribly. They are under constant investigation. There are several horrendous hidden camera videos of what goes on there. Go watch one and then see if you are comfortable with that barbarism in your town. And sometimes people die when these wild animals go insane and charge the audience. Really, can't we find better ways to entertain ourselves than an antiquated circus?
Cj Ellie February 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM
99% of circus elephants are Asian females. It is the African elephants that have tusk and are being slaughtered for it, not Asian elephants. So you reason for allowing this circus animal cruelty is to save Asian elephants from the Chinese doesn’t apply. It is never okay to take a baby elephant (or any animal) and beat, hook, jab them with bullhooks, ropes, whips and shock them with an electric prod daily for months on end until they break their spirit. Just to make them perform unnatural tricks to entertain the circus’s audience. If the circus was caught training their performing dogs like they train the elephants they would be arrested, jailed, fined and their animals confiscated for animal abuse.
Aidan February 19, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Asian? Now we're into racism for sure.
elizabeth February 19, 2013 at 01:43 AM
I can't even read all the horrific facts you guys have presented about the treatment of elephants. It's too sad to even imagine. Thank you for caring about these beautiful and noble creatures! I will never attend a circus with animal acts again!
Teleman February 19, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Hopefully we can move on to the human issues that are affecting society- like shipping illegals back to their native environments in equador, mexico, guatemala etc- the miniscule number of animals in circus' shows pales in comparison to other animal rights issues and certainly human issues. Move on.
Aidan February 19, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I was right!
Kim February 19, 2013 at 02:45 AM
To the poor soul who is suffering, it does not pale in comparison to anything.
Teleman February 19, 2013 at 03:08 AM
People 1st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ann Fanizzi February 19, 2013 at 09:05 AM
@Teleman - your post indicates that you are unaware of the connection between the treatment of animals and abuse by humans. Countless studies have made the connection that those who abuse animals, abuse human beings.
James Adnaraf February 19, 2013 at 01:34 PM
I am not a circus fan, never have been, but here is a link that delves into the issue: http://www.lionden.com/faqs.htm#abuse
Kim February 19, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Oh Good God! Those are the most arrogant, perverse, convoluted arguments I've ever heard in favor of chains, shouting, cages, confinement, and whips and sticks. The whips and sticks are an extension of the trainers arm?! I nearly spit out my morning coffee. That's where I had to stop. I am also growing weary of animal abusers claiming that animal advocates "anthropomorphize" animals. We do exactly the opposite. We wish for them to have the lives that they deserve in a natural habitat. We honor them as animals, rather than denigrate and devalue their unique talents that we cannot even begin to fathom because we are so trapped in our narrow "anthropocentric" way of thinking. If you don't like the circus, good for you. Best to just go with your natural instinct which seems to be on target here.
James Adnaraf February 19, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Kim, has your house encroached on an animal? If a racoon is in your garbage can, do you welcome it? If an animal eats up your garden, is it their right, because we encroached on it? Do you let any and all animals on your property? Should a lawyer sponsor a class action suit on behalf of the wild deer that have had their habitat destroyed by a housing development? How many of the people living in that housing development love the animals' natural habitat, even as they live in a house that helped destroy the natural habitat? We can speak of natural habitat all we want, but almost every human being, for better or for worse, takes animals out of their habitat. Everthing humans do can affect animals not just circuses. It is not easy to draw the line. A good dialog on this is better than ranting.
Just Sayin February 19, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Were any of you people at the circus? I was. Let me give you my reading of the animals... Tigers: not happy, but hard to tell if it was b/c they were living a life in captivity or b/c they were forced to look at the fat old trainers spandexed junk for the entire routine. Dogs: Super psyched, like a squad of hairy four-legged cheerleaders. Bears: Now they looked miserable for real. They're mouths were roped shut. And they're body language was horrible. They literally looked beaten. I would start with the bear act if I were looking for trouble. Elephants: I have to be honest, I have a harder time reading the elephant's they are good at hiding their emotions, thick skin I guess. PS - On the human side, the clown stunk. Satrick, a young dude who can look at his own butt and who contorted himself into a little box was hard to watch but cool. Jugglers, great. The rest getting old and fat.
John Gruber February 19, 2013 at 02:36 PM
there's a difference between taking an animals habitat and capturing it, whipping it, shocking it generally abusing it and making it do things they simply aren't meant to do. BIG difference
Kim February 19, 2013 at 02:38 PM
I wholeheartedly agree that a dialogue about the limits of human encroachment/entitlement is valuable. It is a complex issue. But here, I am trying to stick to the topic of circuses, for which it is a stretch of logic to prove a viable human need for circus entertainment. Where we can easily help animals, by finding alternate sources of entertainment, why not do it? Where it becomes more complicated, yes, it is a different dialogue. I'm astounded that this is such a hard sell regarding circuses.
joy February 19, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I agree.
Robert Guttman February 19, 2013 at 03:02 PM
I lost any respect that I ever had for "vegans" after I read about a "vegan" couple who were arrested for child abuse. It seems that they fed their infant only on soy milk, rather than real milk, because they didn't believe in consuming any animal products. As a result, the child died of malnutrition.
Teleman February 24, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Yes Ann, Frank Perdue was the next Pol Pot.


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