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Mar 3, 2017 1:04 PM

Maine bill would ban use of elephants in traveling acts

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the use of elephants in traveling animal acts.

READ: Animal rights group plans picket of Ringling Bros. circus in Manchester today


Animal advocates on Thursday told a legislative committee that it's inherently cruel to isolate and chain the highly intelligent mammals and use bull hooks to force them to do unnatural tricks like headstands.

But an elephant trainer and circus enthusiasts rebutted allegations of animal cruelty and said elephants continue to be a big draw for families seeking old-fashioned entertainment.

More than a decade ago, a Maine girl's pleas for better treatment for the large mammals inspired a national movement.

The famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will close in May, a year after its owner sent its elephants to a Florida center for elephant conservation.

READ: Nowhere left to run away to: The final days of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

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