Circus charged after elephant abuse video

2013-04-16 09:47
(Photo supplied)

(Photo supplied)

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Johannesburg - Charges have been brought against a top South African circus company after shocking footage emerged of elephants being abused.

The cellphone video, broadcast on Carte Blanche on Sunday night, showed Brian Boswell’s Circus employees hitting elephants, causing outrage and huge support for the Boycott Brian Boswell Animal Circus Facebook page, reported the Times Live.

By Tuesday morning, the page had more than 2 660 likes.

Beeld reported that a member of the public had taken the cellphone footage during a training session.

It showed how an elephant handler hit Wankie the elephant with a stick or a piece of steel in the face after the elephant appeared to pick up a garden hose with her trunk to drink water.

"We've always suspected this is the case, but this is finally documented proof," said Ainsley Hay from the SPCA.

Hay said the SPCA was shocked at the cruelty that was shown towards Wankie.

The circus could be fined and lose the animals if found guilty.

Brian Boswell denied that the circus abused its elephants and said the video footage revealed a one-time incident. He said Wankie had been with the circus for more than 30 years.  

The circus employees in the video had been fired, he said.

"It's not in our interest to be cruel or horrible to [the elephants]. Why would you do that? They are expensive."

Read more on:    spca  |  animal abuse

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