Bumper-to-bumper elephant traffic

circus elephants in downtown albany

They walked up from the Port of Albany.

Via @woodzepper come these photos of the Ringling Bros Circus elephants making their way through downtown Albany this morning. The circus is at the TU Center this week.

The use of elephants in circuses has increasingly come under criticism in recent years. Animal advocates allege that circuses, use cruel measures to train the elephants. Ringling Bros has specifically been accused of abuse. A federal judge ruled in favor of Ringling Bros' parent company at the end of last year in a suit that alleged abuse.

PETA has been campaigning to ban the use of elephants in circuses. It recently got geek-goddess Olivia Munn to pose nude for a circus boycott ad. (Ringling Bros has accused PETA of distorting the issue.)

Recently in Albany, common councilman Anton Konev proposed a measure that would ban use of "wild or exotic" animals for shows such as circuses. The ban would also apply to rodeos.

More elephant photos after the jump.

circus elephants albany 2010 more 2

circus elephants albany 2010 more

photos: @woodzepper


Thank goodness for people like Anton Konev. If if weren't for him who would propose publicity grabbing measures that have no real chance of ever actually passing.

Those photos make me sad inside (wait, I have a heart?). I'm torn. I really enjoyed the circus as a kid, but obviously didn't know better. I'm pretty sure I could have been fooled by a guy in a costume though.

Also, I'm a geek, and Olivia is not my goddess (Felicia Day, however...). "Date Night" and "Iron Man 2" are out, so one could wonder, "oh, what a coincidence Olivia, really?" but bear in mind she would pose for the Canadian issue of "Creative Knitting" if she could. No, what was very ironic here is that apparently she showed up for that PETA campaign in... leather boots. To which she (or was it PETA?) answered: "This isn't a leather campaign". Aww.

funny.. the thing is I'd like to go see the circus - even though I read everything that goes on with the animals..but when I read about a troy city "worker" killing a puppy with a shovel - I want to burn his house down.

I had secretly held out hope that the allegations were overblown, because I simply don't WANT to believe it's that bad. Looks like I'm going to have to assume less of an "ignorance is bliss" stance on the issue.

Those poor animals. :( Just like the whales and dolphins at Sea World, it's thrilling to see them up close, but they must live such miserable lives.

Cruel and unusual. It's a shame that the circus helps to indoctrinate children into cruelty towards animals.

I was happy to see these elephants, but it saddened me to see them walking through Albany's concrete wasteland near the bus station. Wonder what they think about spending the weekend in the TU Center. : /

i'm going to enjoy some Bros Tacos instead of going to the circus this weekend

When I saw the picture initally I thought it would be an article about the history of this tradition in Albany. I definitely don't condone their actions, but this is the most one-sided AOA article I've ever seen. What a kill-joy! :-(

I will be attending a protest this Thursday during the hours of opening night of the circus at the Times Union Center. Circuses with animal acts is wrong and I think the public should learn all of the facts and watch the videos and see what really happens behind the scenes of the circuses with non-human animal acts.

The elephants and other animals are certainly abused, but wait until they uncover how the clowns are treated!

I've always wanted to see the elephants walk. I'm sad I missed it.

I think there's something nostalgic about the circus that deep down touches everyone.

I am not a circus fan -- at all (most of the acts creep me out) -- but I love elephants. They're so beautiful and regal.

As for the allegations, if a court rules in the circus's favor, then I guess I'm going to have faith that the animals are treated well and living happy, healthy, protected lives.

The way these animals are treated is disgusting. Due to my lack of lobbying dollars, I will be unable to push legislation regarding their treatment. I can still vote with my few dollars though, and Ringling Bros. will get not a cent.

Two notes for those who harp so hard on animal acts:
1) Many animal training procedures are humane and in accordance with the law (which is the reason that such cases are won by the Ringling Bros.).
2) These animals usually live longer and more healthy lives than in the wild (which is especially the case with elephants, which are losing protective rights throughout Africa right now due to their increasing numbers and destruction of farm land).

@Lindsay: I'm just curious about 2), do you have sources? I guess there is living a long miserable life in captivity, and a "normal" (and obviously not safe) life in the wild. But hey, it's not black & white, I agree; I've seen elephants doing good in some parts of Africa, and turning into scavengers in some other parts (especially you, who rampaged our jeep for food back then, I haven't forgotten about you, *shake fist in the air*).

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