June 1st, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Elephant helps move Joplin tornado debris

The circus was in Joplin last week, but no one in the tornado-ravaged Missouri town was really interested in seeing clowns or anyone on a flying trapeze.

An elephant, though, had a very enthusiastic audience.

A CNN affiliate in Kansas City reports that the Piccadilly Circus allowed one of its elephants to help move debris from the May 22 twister that leveled whole neighborhoods. Many folks cheered, but some were outraged, saying the elephant was being mistreated.

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Filed under: Joplin • Missouri
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Karen T

    Elephants have been used for thousands of years for these kinds of tasks... they enjoy having a purpose.... it is a far more noble use than the stupid animal tricks that the circus has them do.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Suni

    Only crazy people can think of that Elephant being abused!! He/She is being put to great use! May be these folks here commenting on abuse have not traveled far and wide, Elephants and other Animals for centuries have worked among human beings in different parts of the world, what is wrong with it?? No body is hurting this Animal and seems like He/She is getting a break from monotonous routines of Circus. Everyone is pitching in the effort to help this town and that is exactly what I see!! Don't try to look for problems where there are none! For crying out loud go and look for communities and homes where children are being abused, women being abused and senior citizens being abused..! Leave the working Elephant alone – HE/SHE IS CLEARLY NOT BEING ABUSED – IT IS CALLED WORK, THAT IS WHAT IT IS DOING!

    June 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Suni – Thank you! I felt the same way when I first read the headline. People who truly believe that abuse is going on think of only of the negitive in life. I really enjoyed reading what you worte I couldn't agree with you more!!
      Have a Great Day!!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gudone

      I agree with you too.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marsha is a Busybody

    Marsha you probably mean well, but you are clueless as to the enormity of the destruction these survivors are facing. It has nothing to do with laziness. There isn't enough equipment available and even if you could find equipment to rent to clear your property, it would cost a fortune and require a qualified operator, also not cheap. These people have lost everything, and are also probably out of work, since their jobs were destroyed too. Perhaps you should educate yourself into the nature of natural disasters and what really goes on. Start by reading up on Hurricane Katrina.

    And if the circus wants to focus a little attention on the situation by using its elephants in a time-honored way to move heavy loads, well, thanks to Picadilly Circus.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gorilla #13 Oh Lucky Day

    Good thing they didn't ask me. My back has been killing me.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pamela

    Marsha,
    I am an animal lover and work to assist animals in my line of work. This is not abuse. Why are you not there assisting the Joplin residents. God created animals for a purpose. This animal is not being abused and is doing great things for the Glory of God, its creator. If the animal was being beaten then it would be different of course. Get a life Marsha.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Canadian Genius

    They still have circuses? What is this, 1927?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob Barker

    This is horrible. They are killing the elephant. This elephant belongs in a refuge in California. If they force it to do anything else, it will die. I am an elephant expert.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen T

      You are an expert idiot!

      Elephants are used in Asia and India everyday for this type of task.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pepi

      Hey, if an elephant wants to join the circus for free food, board and baths, you can't dash those dreams. If he wants to help out the community with volunteering, let him do that. He can choose to just stand there and do nothing, but obviously he wanted to join in to help others in need. Also let me tell you this pal..LIFE kills the elephant. Life eventually kills us all. Let this guy have some meaning in his life!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sceptic

      Bob: Do I detect a bit of sarcasm in your statement. You can't expect us to take you seriously do you? Stick with the Price is Right.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marsha has no friends

    And she smells bad too.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David in Viola

    My mother...er, the elephant belongs in a zoo.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dutch

    As long as the elephant didn't step on any nail;s, I don't think it's being abused. It's outside, on a nice day doing some work, having a project to do. It's great.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jo in Albany NY

    I suppose the people that are spouting animal abuse also turn a blind eye when the elephant is beaten into sumission to perform menial tricks in a circus. This type of labor iswhat elephants do, they are very intelligent, very strong and actually love doing their work. Maybe they should read up on elephants, and find that they are very loving familial creatures. The people with that wonderful elephant will not let it get hurt, and the residents of Joplin will be forever appreciative for the help of one amazing creature.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. U-Turn

    Have there been any Hannibal sightings since the elephants have been helping out?

    June 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ken

    What next? Donkeys, horses, mooses, chickens and penguins are coming out to clean up the mess too?

    June 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      Yup, and they are being led by Pedo-bear.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Animal Lover in Nebraska

    Ok, so how do you idiots know that the elephant "enjoys" this? Are you the elephant whisperer?

    I don't see a problem with this as long as the animal is given breaks, fresh water, medical treatment, and is treated humanely. We send in cadaver dogs to bad situations and they get these courtesies.

    Now, if you have some idiot beating the elephant or not giving him a break, I've got an issue with that.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      The volunteered! They said they would work for peanuts.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. NYGIRL

    It probably went back that night and told all the other elephants how much fun it had ! 🙂

    June 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
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