Cole Bros. Circus has again come under scrutiny for its illegal activities. This time it’s been fined $160,000 for the illegal sale of two elephants, Tina and Jewel, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Yet, the circus still is in operation and will be performing at the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Virginia, this spring.
Along with being cited by the United States Department of Agriculture for negligent and cruel living conditions, lack of adequate veterinary care, and use of blatant, abusive training tactics on animals, Cole Bros. Circus has also had several close calls with endangering the public. As recently as April 2010, an elephant escaped and got dangerously close to circus goers waiting to buy tickets. Other past incidents include an elephant spraining a woman’s wrist with his trunk and a 450-pound white tiger getting loose in Queens, New York. In 1985, a woman was crushed to death by a Cole Bros. Circus elephant.
Write a polite letter to the executive director of the festival letting him know of your displeasure that this circus is again coming to town.
John Rosenberger, Executive Director
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
135 N. Cameron St.
Winchester, VA 22601