Kinship Circle: Dear TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus

May 18th, 2008 10:23 am by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Sat, May 17, 2008 at 4:58 PM
Subject: Dear TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus


5/17/08: TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus

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Kinship Circle - 2008-05-17 - TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus 01

LEFT: A Ringling performance.

Kinship Circle - 2008-05-17 - TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus 02

RIGHT: Animal Protection Institute photo, January 2005 in Jacksonville, Florida, shows Ringling elephants chained immediately after exiting a transport train (AP Photo/API, Bradley Stookey).


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Steve Koonin, President, Turner Entertainment Networks
1050 Techwood Dr.; Atlanta, GA 30318
ph: 404-827-3933; fax: 404-575-5294
email (his assistant): anne.smith [at]

Mark Wolper, President, The Wolper Organization
4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg. 14, Room 200
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
ph: 818-954-1421; fax: 818-954-1593
email (his assistant): kathleen.doise [at]

Al Hassas, Executive Producer, Collective Media
9100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700; West Beverly Hills, CA 90212
ph: 310-888-1522; fax: 310-888-1555
email: al [at]

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SAMPLE LETTER — This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue.
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Dear Mr. Koonin, Mr. Wolper, and Mr. Hassas:

Reality shows have saturated airwaves and lost their authenticity. To better showcase Turner Network Television’s new reality program starring Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, please include affidavits about handlers who batter elephants bloody and chain them inside train cars for days.

You may wish to consult Tom Rider, a former Ringling “barn man” who testified before Congress: “Elephants live in confinement and are beaten all the time when they don’t perform properly.” In sworn deposition, Rider said elephants are chained up to 23 hours daily. He described the particularly brutal beatings of Benjamin, a baby elephant who died.

Perhaps past employee Archele Hundley can lend her eyewitness accounts of an elephant soaked in blood after a half-hour beating, a horse thrashed with a metal-tip lead for 10 minutes, or a miniature horse knocked senseless from a trainer’s closed-fist punch. Ms. Hundley says: “The public has no idea Ringling’s handlers are taught to keep animals afraid. I saw elephants, horses, and camels punched, beaten, and whipped by circus staff members.”

To give the show even more realism, I suggest producers canvass public records. For example, in one of numerous complaints filed with the USDA, [USDA# 52-C-0137 (past # 58-C-0106), 8607 Westwood Center Dr., Vienna, VA 22182] Ringling Bros. fails to meet federal Animal Welfare Act requirements.

USDA inspection reports routinely cite the circus for:

* Trauma, physical harm and behavioral stress to animals;
* Failure to possess records of veterinary care;
* Dispensing expired medication;
* Insufficient exercise, space and shade for animals;
* Improper feeding, unsanitary food and dirty storage trucks.

Recently, a federal judge ruled an animal cruelty case against Ringling Bros., and its parent company Feld Entertainment, could proceed. Documents uncovered during a lawsuit filed under the Endangered Species Act reveal circus workers strike, chain and wound endangered Asian elephants. The circus is accused of forcibly removing pre-weaned elephants from mothers and beating them into submission.

Denny’s, Lukoil, General Mills, Burger King, Liz Claiborne, MasterCard, Visa, Sears, Roebuck & Co. and other large corporations terminated promos for animal acts such as Ringling Bros., once informed about fear-driven training based in animal abuse.

A single letter cannot detail decades of Ringling animal abuse, neglect and death. However, it is not my job to present veracity in reality programming. I call upon TNT’s president and the show’s producers to either air a genuine Ringling portrait or abandon the show altogether.

Thank you,




Let TNT Know What You Think of Its Ringling Bros. Reality Show

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VIDEO: Ringling Bros. Bullhook Abuse And Lame Elephants 2006

The Sadist Show on Earth?


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One Response to “Kinship Circle: Dear TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus”

  1. yasmin Says:

    Dear, the Ringling brothers…

    Firstly, animals should be in the wild; not abused to perform ludicrous tricks, for other peoples entertainment in the circus. Research shows that 1200 animals have died from being beaten and hooked .Naturally I feel that abusing animals to perform is NOT entertainment it is inhuman.

    Furthermore, it is cruel to keep these defenseless, fascinating animals in cages. The real truth is that animals that are locked in cages for half of their life will never know what its like to be free, hunt and live in its natural habitat. How would you feel handcuffed to a railing for 11 hours a day, everyday? (Most people would agree, this is deplorable behavior.)
    We all know that in the wild, elephants live in large sociable herbs and walk up to 25miles every day, therefore caging these creatures in ludicrous.

    Moreover, I know you believe that you’re doing the correct thing by providing shelter and food for these majestic animals but you’re not!
    You’re using and abusing them for other peoples entertainment. We all know that keeping animals in circuses is a ridiculous suggestion because, more and more people agree watching animals suffer and fear their handlers is NOT entertainment!
    Why not just set them free? Surely you would agree that next time you should use humans, who have the ability to disagree or agree, to provide appropriate entertainment.
    Aren’t you humans talented enough to provide appropriate entertainment!?

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