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Elephant’s brief escape from circus in Montana underscores the urgency to end animal acts

Earlier this week, an elderly captive elephant named Viola escaped from a circus in Butte, Montana. Viola belongs to Carson & Barnes Circus and was in Butte performing with Jordan World Circus. According to news reports, she wandered through traffic, in front of a casino, and paused on a residential lawn. Videos show handlers with bullhooks—a tool used to hit and inflict pain on captive elephants to intimidate them—chasing and then corralling Viola in the busy downtown, capturing her and bringing her back to the circus. Whatever taste of freedom Viola experienced was quickly put to an end.

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About the Author

Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International, the international affiliate of the HSUS.

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