Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute

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Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week — 1st of 5

Animals in Entertainment

In the circus, elephants are forced to perform unnatural, demeaning tricks — forced by the wielding of cruel bullhooks. They are shipped around the country, chained for hours, even days on end.

In the zoo, wild animals languish, caged, sometimes alone in alien environments, far removed from their natural habitat and deprived of the environmental, physical, and social stimulation they need.

Wild animals are not here to entertain us in circuses and zoos. Keep Wildlife in the Wild!

Elephants, lions, tigers and other magnificent animals, including threatened and endangered species, are sentenced in circuses and zoos to a lifetime of misery, just to provide a few moments of human amusement.

Born Free USA is working toward a day when wild animals are no longer cruelly exploited for entertainment. Help us save animals from circuses and zoos.


  • Learn what happens behind the big top. Born Free USA is part of a groundbreaking lawsuit against Ringling Bros. for its mistreatment of Asian elephants. Click here for more details.
  • Download our circus fliers and convince 10 people not to attend an animal circus when it next rolls into your town.
  • Write to your state legislators urging them to pass legislation prohibiting cruel training devices, such as bullhooks, electric prods, and chains, used in animal circuses. Please send us a copy of your letter(s).
  • Become a Zoo Checker! There are thousands of zoos across the USA and we need your help to campaign to end the worst cases of suffering. Tell us about the conditions for the animals at your local zoo (the forms are on our website) and send us stories from your local paper when the zoo is covered.

DOs and DON'Ts:

  • Do stand up for elephants and other animals in circuses by signing our petition to Ringling Bros. circus letting them know that you will not attend another animal circus — so long as animal acts are featured attractions.
  • Do educate your community about the lifetime of misery circus animals endure. Attend local council meetings and speak out against animal circuses during the public forum and/or set-up a table at local festivals or events with Born Free USA literature.
  • Do choose wildlife experiences that involve observing, studying and appreciating, and protecting wild creatures in their natural habitats.
  • Do support your local wildlife sanctuary, including the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.
  • Don't spend your hard earned money on vacation activities that involve the exploitation of captive wildlife. Take a strong stand against animal exploitation by boycotting swim-with-the-dolphin programs, photo-opportunities with tigers, chimpanzees, and other captive animals.
  • Don't take your child to the zoo this summer. Watching wild animals in cages is not educational; does not benefit conservation of wildlife in the wild; and is not entertainment.
  • Don't be fooled by stories portraying animal circuses as wholesome family entertainment. Animal circuses are no fun for the animals. Write a letter to the editor if you read an article glorifying animal circuses. Let the readers know what really goes on behind the big top as it is no vacation for the animals.


  • Created exclusively for Born Free USA, GG2G is proud to introduce the Lota Tote! These incredible bags are one-of-a-kind and made from Born Free USA's own recycled circus billboards featuring Lota the elephant. Each bag is silk-screened with an elephant image and the message "Keep Wildlife in the Wild" and includes a tag with Lota's story — taken from the wild, exploited in the circus, sold to a zoo, and eventually living her final days at a sanctuary. A very limited number of these bags have been made, so be sure to order yours today — and carry Lota's message forward.
  • Elephant Note Cards — Four fantastic designs, one terrific cause. Available only through Born Free USA, these blank cards are perfect for any occasion and make a wonderful gift as well. Sales benefit our Elephant Defense Fund (EDF) — established to assist with support for all of our elephant protection work, from advocacy and education to litigation and legislation. Order today.
  • Born Free USA has been chosen by CHANCEtoGIVE as a beneficiary of their new iPhone application which allows users to make donations in less than a minute — anytime, anywhere.

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Tomorrow — Millions of innocent furbearing animals are killed for "fashion" or as a "nuisance"!

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