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Editorial from the Pennsylvania Scranton Times-Tribune

Fatal attraction
Published: April 13, 2010

An investigation into the death of a circus elephant handler last week in Wilkes-Barre
likely will yield a specific cause for the animal kicking the groomer. But the fundamental
cause already is obvious: Elephants are wild animals.

In the wild, elephants are social, with highly organized family groups. They are intelligent.

And, of course, they are big and strong.

In many ways the circus elephant is like the killer whale that "turned" on its trainer recently
at SeaWorld in Florida, or the "tame" chimpanzee that maimed a woman in Connecticut last year.

All of the animals existed in unnatural environments ill-suited to their natural attributes and
instincts, and subject to stresses that do not exist in their natural habitats.

Dozens of incidents involving captive elephants have been recorded. And there are untold
numbers more involving wild animals kept in domestic environments.

Rather than investigating individual incidents, governments should prevent them by barring
the use of wild animals as pets or for entertainment.

 





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