There’s a really dark side to ‘Elephant Tourism’: circuses, bull hooks and hard labour; check out Betty – the elephant’s abuse hidden in plain sight

The Dark Truth Behind Elephant Rides

Animal Defenders International

AIWA! NO!|This is a snapshot of a day in the life of Betty, an elephant used for rides in the US.

Travelling from city to city, Betty stands silent and still as groups of people clamber onto her back. After walking around in a circle, the group climbs off Betty and another takes their place. And so it goes on and on, day after day, month after month, year after year.

Try not to “squee” too loud while adoring these pictures of Betty White at the Reid Park Zoo

All the while Larry Carden stands by Betty’s side, bull-hook in hand, a constant reminder of what will happen if she does not follow his commands.

This is a man who was arrested and accused of animal abuse after using the bullhook on another elephant Bo as he led him off the stage during a performance at UniverSoul Circus in Atlanta in 2015.


Notice how he holds the torture devices in full view of the elephants in order to remind them what will happen if they get any ideas about refusing to perform confusing tricks or even just about reaching for a few leaves on a tree. I wonder if the elephants have ever thought about wrapping their trunks around one of those things and showing Mr. Scummy Handler exactly how it feels.

As we know only too well, and have the evidence of our investigations to show, such abuse is usually hidden from view.

For Betty, Bo, and other elephants and wild animals suffering in circuses across the US today, please support state and federal legislation to help them:

Our thanks to the ADI supporter who took this video of Betty at the Garden Bros Circus in Denver, Colorado this weekend.