My first foray into animal cruelty. The article details deaths, illness and injury within Ringling Bros.’ famed herd of performing elephants. I spent a year examining corporate and government records that surfaced over a decade through FOIA requests and lawsuits against Feld Entertainment, the parent of America’s most popular circus. Along the way, I really fell for the elephants…
Read the full story here:The Cruelest Show on Earth
The USDA announced the settlement Nov. 28. Feld released a statement noting it was not admitting anything but would “enhance” its animal care.
The historic penalty ended decades of USDA inaction on abuse allegations against Ringling documented in inspections, investigations and through long-standing efforts by animal welfare groups — such as PETA, ASPCA and the Animal Protection Institute.
The announcement came on the heels of legislation introduced by Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia that would restrict use of exotic animals in traveling circuses.
Image by David Cook Wildlife Photography