Practical Issues > Animals for Entertainment > Circuses

The Elephant That Cried 

Sadie was a female Asian elephant, similar to the one pictured here.

Sadie was a young, timid elephant. Her trainers believed it was essential that elephants used in circuses learn fear of punishment and discomfort as basic discipline. They were impatient and she was confused by the strange, puzzling tricks that were unnatural to any elephant. One day, Sadie attempted to run out of the ring. Her trainers brought her back and began to punish her for being "stupid." Overwhelmed with a sense of frustration, helplessness, and hopelessness, Sadie laid down and began to cry. Tears streamed down her face as her huge body heaved with every desperate sob. Her spirit broken, Sadie would never regain the freedom and dignity the circus had so cruelly taken from her.

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