An eventful day, for sure! Shortly after we shared the details on the escaped elephant in Butte, which is part of the Jordan World Circus, PETA sent over a response to my inbox.

(Note: I am leaving my own opinions completely out of this article... as PETA probably wouldn't like what I have to say about it.)

The Following is from Sara Groves, Public Relations Coordinator for PETA:

Good afternoon. The elderly elephant, Viola, who escaped from Jordan World Circus today is supplied by Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Viola has escaped at least two other times—in 2010 and 2014 —and in 2021, a PETA investigation revealed that she was being forced to perform daily despite having chronically swollen feet and signs of other ailments impacting her rear legs. Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler regarding Viola’s most recent escape.

(EDITOR'S WARNING: NSFW Footage below on the "Video" link. Click at your own risk)

Viola’s desperate break for freedom follows decades of abuse and involuntary servitude at the hands of Carson & Barnes Circus, which forces her to perform grueling, painful tricks and has been caught on video electroshocking elephants and beating them with a sharp, steel-tipped bullhook.

PETA has submitted an urgent complaint to federal authorities over the circus’s failure to protect Viola and the public from her frightened attempts to flee her weapon-wielding handler, and urges everyone to help elephants like Viola by refusing to buy a ticket to any circus that’s still forcing them to perform.

PETA’s complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture requests that the agency investigate Carson & Barnes, hold it and any other responsible parties accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and ensure that Viola is thoroughly examined for injuries she may have sustained during her escape.

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The Best Pics of the Escaped Elephant on Butte's Streets

On April 16, 2024, the quiet town of Butte, MT, saw something never before seen on the streets of Butte: a 7000 pound elephant running amok. Here is a compilation of the event.

Gallery Credit: Devon Brosnan

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