AR-News: Seized elephant has long history of abuse.
ISPEAKInc at aol.com
ISPEAKInc at aol.com
Sat Dec 27 14:26:28 EST 2003
Please cross post -
As a baby, elephant Delhi was captured in India. She performed with the
Hamid Morton Circus until 1974. She was then with the Hawthorn Corporation. Delhi
was rented by the Walker Bros. Circus.
October 2, 2001: The USDA cited Hawthorn for failure to provide veterinary
care to Delhi, traveling with Walker Bros. Circus with overgrown nails and
According to documents from the city of Chicago, a cruelty to animals
complaint was filed against trainer John Caudill. A letter to the Chicago Sun-Times
editor described the wanton brutality endured by Hawthorn elephants leased to
Medinah Shrine Circus. The letter read, "When the elephants were brought
behind the curtain, the trainer began verbally abusing and hitting the elephant. We
watched in horror as he swung a stick with all his force and struck the
elephant in the back of the leg...the elephant let out a scream that could be heard
throughout the UIC Pavilion. The kids were frightened and asked me why the
man was hurting the elephant." The trainer was John Caudill.
October 11, 2001: The USDA cited Hawthorn for failure to correct a previously
identified violation of not providing veterinary care by an experienced
veterinarian to elephants traveling with Walker Bros. Circus. The inspector wrote,
"I spoke with the veterinarian ... that had examined the animals on 10/10/01.
He stated that he was not sure about the proper treatment for the elephants
because he did not have much experience [in] treating them."
October 5, 2001: The USDA cited Hawthorn for failure to correct previously
identified violations of not providing veterinary care and security for its
elephants traveling with Walker Bros. Circus. - Delhi had an open, draining, and
bleeding wound on her nail with blood stains on and around the nail and foot.
The area above the nail was swollen and warm to the touch. The cuticles on both
of her front feet were "very overgrown." Delhi was limping in pain and
favored her leg during the performance. There were no documents to indicate that a
qualified person was providing foot care.
October 10, 1995: The USDA cited Walker Bros. for inappropriate handling of
the elephants. The USDA inspector stated, "Each elephant had [two or three]
puncture wounds behind the left ear and at least one under the chin from
uncareful use of [an] elephant hook.
March 29, 2001: Delhi had an injury on her left front foot with an open
October 5, 2001: Delhi had an open, draining, and bleeding wound on her nail.
The area above the nail was swollen. The cuticles on both of her front feet
were very overgrown. Delhi was limping in pain and favored her leg during the
March 4, 2002, Delhi was found in a serious health emergency. Both of her
front legs were twice their normal size and were swollen up to her chest. She
could not bend her front legs at the elbows, was reluctant to bear weight on her
front legs, and had difficulty in walking.
April 23, 2002: Delhi had severe tissue damage to the front feet and several
abscessed areas on her body, including areas on both hips, between the eyes,
the anterior portion of the ear attachment, on her head, the elbows of both
front legs, and the tail. Chemical burns on Delhi's feet were the result of the
use of undiluted formaldehyde to soak Delhi's feet. On
May 4, 2002: The USDA's elephant veterinary consultant found that Delhi had
numerous lesions, a swollen tail, swollen front feet with skin damage and
abscess blow-outs, abscess defects on the foot pads, and a huge split nail.
Hawthorn handler, John Caudill (a.k.a. John Walker of Walker Bros. Circus)
used undiluted formaldehyde to soak Delhi’s feet causing severe chemical burns.
Delhi’ was seized by the USDA and given to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tenn.
I-SPEAK also recommends a visit to following site and that you sign that
Please contact The Honorable Ann M. Veneman, Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Tel: 202 720-3631
Fax: 202 720-2166
Email: agsec at usda.gov
Tell Secretary Veneman that the USDA, besides charging Walker Bros. Circus
and Hawthorn, should have their USDA permits revoked based on years of blatant
USDA violations and criminal activities. There is no excuse for the USDA at
this point not to revoke their permits.
Also please request the USDA disregard San Diego veterinarian J.E. Oosterhuis
inspection and statements saying Hawthorn's staff "should be commended for
their care of Delhi". This veterinarian was used to state that elephant Joyce
of The Hawthorne Corporation had only tooth problems. She died weeks later,
August 1996, with advance TB and sever foot complications. In 1998, after
I-SPEAK complained of the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus elephants in poor
physical condition, the USDA cited the circus. Dr. Oosterhuis was then recommended
to inspect the elephants and he cited that all six elephants were all right
to work, and that elephant Pete was most likely faking injuries. Pete, with
several health conditions including sever arthritic hip degeneration, and
chronic pneumonia, and Conti with a known kidney infection died the following year,
forced to work as the vet repeated they were all right weeks before their
deaths. Elephant Helen was stated to have a trick knee she could work with. She
was put to sleep due to sever joint condition. Another elephant, Bessie, who
the vet stated had arthritis she could work with, was eventually retired due
to her condition. Of the two remaining elephants, The vet stated a bulge
around Jewel’s tail has caused a decreased elasticity in certain ligaments. At
worst, the condition could lead to a rupture of vital organs.
I-SPEAK would also note that the The Elephant Sanctuary in Tenn. bears the
entire financial responsibility for Delhi’s care, which could exceed $80,000
over the next six months. Please consider a donation t this organization to help
with Delhi's care.
International Society for the Protection
of Exotic Animal Kind & Livestock, Inc.
998-C Old Country Road, # 142
Plainview, NY 11803
ISPEAKINC at AOL.COM
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