Actress Kyra Sedgwick wants Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help some visiting circus elephants she thinks are being tormented. The celeb has faxed Mayor Bloomberg a letter (which PETA provides a via its blog.) in which she asks him to assure he’ll never again let allegedly elephant-torturing Ringling Bros. Circus come to Coney Island.
Sedgwick says the circus abuses its elephants with bullhooks and chains (as seen in this now-famous video) and the city should distance itself from such cruelties. The actress then moves on to making some suggestions on how Bloomberg could alleviate the suffering of the circus elephants that are currently entertaining crowds at Coney:
“Prohibit chaining (except for legitimate medical emergencies) and require that the elephants have round the clock access to an outdoor pen as well as appropriate ground covering and substrates such as loose dirt, sand, and hay to sleep, walk, and stand on. Although the enclosure won’t allow them to walk up to the thirty miles a day as they would in the wild, having a tiny bit more freedom and soft surfaces will help their tired feet and joints.
“Prohibit the use of bullhooks and electric prods on elephants. elephants have extremely sensitive skin and can even feel the pain of an insect bite. These barbaric tools are no longer used by most zoos with elephants and have never been used by accredited sanctuaries. ”
Sedgwick, who was reached through a spokesperson, says she hasn’t heard back from Bloomie yet.
Stu Loeser, Bloomberg’s press secretary, confirms the mayor’s office received the letter. ” We haven’t responded yet,” he writes via email, “but we will — as we do to every letter that somebody writes to the Mayor.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 7, 2009