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Posted at 5:12 PM ET, 03/16/2010

Elephants parade through D.C.

By Washington Post editors

Elephants marched through parts of D.C. today, signaling the arrival of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The pachyderms took a slightly different route than in previous years. DCist offered this map of their path.

The circus will perform Thursday to Sunday at Verizon Center.

By Washington Post editors  | March 16, 2010; 5:12 PM ET
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I heard that one of them has fallen into a pothole. Hope she's okay. Wouldn't want to lose an elephant in a DC pothole. Especially after last year when three of them were shot in a drive-by.

Posted by: CubsFan | March 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I hope they keep that witch Karen Feld away from the animals. There was a big scare last week when she thought her poodle had fallen into her cauldron. Turned out it was only a housemaid so "it didn't matter."

Free the

Posted by: SoCali | March 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Circuses with animals-- especially as still run by the Feld family that owns Ringling Bros.-- are a sad, sorry anachronism, whose time should have passed years ago. Please, educate yourself to what's really going on, and please please don't support circuses with your $$. I'm not always a huge fan of PETA, but the contents of this horrifying website are true:

Posted by: smckel | March 16, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

smckel - Well said.

Posted by: ghokee | March 16, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Circus workers are cruel to the animals in their care. Circuses should be outlawed. At the least, they deserve to be boycotted.

Posted by: hoberle | March 16, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

When will the Post stop acting as a press office for the abusive Ringling Bros. circus and start exposing their cruel practices to the public? As recently as last year, PETA has documented Ringling Bros. workers as they struck elephants and tigers on the head, face, ears, trunk, legs, and other parts of their bodies with bullhooks and other abusive handling tools. The unit's animal superintendent and head elephant trainer were among those who used bullhooks—sharp, fireplace pokerlike devices—to hook and yank elephants by their sensitive skin. These practices have led these elephants to display "stereotypic" behaviors, recognized as a sign of severe psychological distress—including swaying from side to side while simultaneously bobbing their heads and swinging their feet. The only way these wild animals "learn" to perform is through the fear instilled by their abusive trainers. Stop supporting animals in circuses!

Posted by: elizabethh9 | March 16, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Who needs Ringling Brothers when we have have hundreds of professional clowns performing everyday on Capital Hill...not to mention those obnoxious elephants who continue to poop on our Constitution.

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Posted by: llitkonlyyous | March 16, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse


Washington Post, please REPORT THE TRUTH ABOUT CIRCUS ELEPHANTS-these elephants should NEVER be walking city streets and performing. This is HORRIFIC and your coverage seems positive. PLEASE don't cover this in a positive light. Let's work to retire the elephants so they can live authentically as elephants, not entertainers. They do tricks for show they have been abused to the point where they will do something unnatural out of FEAR? Poor reporting.

Posted by: leighhoneyv | March 17, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Ringling Bros Circus says we put on “The Greatest Show on Earth” so why can’t they do it with just People Performers and STOP using exotic animals. They don’t beat their human employees to make them perform but they do beat and torture baby elephants to train them to perform. As long as Parents continue to take their Families to the Circus this abuse will not stop. If any part of you loves animals and cares about their humane treatment, you won’t ever go to another Circus with performing animals. The Human equivalent to the life of a Circus Elephants is putting a human infant on death row.

Posted by: bylagoon | March 17, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Haiku for Circus Animals

Ringling ding-a-lings:
Don't you know your circus stinks?
Let the creatures go.

Posted by: janetweeks | March 17, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Haiku for Circus Elephants

But they beat them, Dad!
(Pink elephant in the room.)
Eat your popcorn, son.

Posted by: janetweeks | March 17, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Boycott the circus. Circus animals learn their tricks through standard industry practices of using bullhooks and other instruments to poke, prod, strike, shock,and beat the animals to "train" them--all for an hour of human "entertainment." In reality, the tricks the animals are forced to perform are frightening, unnatural, and even painful. Between shows, animals are confined in cramped quarters, deprived of social interaction, and are forced to stand or lie for hours on end in their own excrement. Circus elephants typically spend 11 months out of a year in transit to the next show and the next. This is no way for a wild animal to exist. Boycott all animal circuses. Rent "Dumbo" instead and let the kids see the circus for what it really is: The Saddest Show on Earth.

Posted by: janetweeks | March 17, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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