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.

Post by:
Filed under: Joplin • Missouri
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. jon

    the elephant was prob more than happy to help if it got him out of his cage!

    June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jokester

    Exactly. They are incredibly strong creatures, so I'm sure it wasn't being abused.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Linda

    forcing them to do stupid tricks for a circus is way more abusive than having them pull a load of debri!!

    June 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HeyYouThere

    Elephants are workers by nature. Look at all the amazing things they do in India! And honestly... if you go to an animal circus you are just feeding the abuse machine. I'm sure this ele was sooo happy to be out of her cage and working. The circus is way more dangerous for her than helping clear the debris.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. samanthee

    After the tornado that levelled Greensboro KS they closed down the road into town and only allowed volunteers and such!

    June 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Really?

    Elephants are used for manual labor all over the world! What's the big deal?

    June 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Larry

    I can not think of anything more cruel then leading cattle to slaughter so we can have a T-Bone. Steak anyone? Last time I read bible, it said we have dominion over animals. How many horses and mules did it take to buiild the railroads and mine the ores? Americans have gone soft.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dt74

    I think using the animal to help these people out is a very noble cause. My only concern is that they only did it for the free publicity. Hopefully, the circus did it for the right reason and not just for a photo op. The last thing these people need is to be exploited by a circus.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rebecca

    Elephants actually really love to build or take things apart. As long as nobody was forcing it to work (and with the conditions that need to be met by circuses, I doubt it) the elephant was probably enjoying itself. They are naturally helpful and empathic critters.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jinx

    Your're vegan. Check.
    Why are Americans soft?
    Because you had to insert a sh!tty opinion on Americans somewhere?

    June 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gigi

    The stupid twit at the beginning of this video who thinks the elephant is being exploited or used needs to go soak her head.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Carolyn

    Elephants often move trees and other debris around in the wild. My guess is she had a good time keeping active. Like someone else said, being in a cage or zoo all day is much harder on them.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chris

    Happy to see an elephant helping out the cause and out of the circus. You should all visit cirus.com or circuses.com and you will see how they really treat animals. It's also a fact that elephants love to work as they are used for many reasons in other countries. Good for the elephant! Hopefully thoughs clowns gave him a well needed break afterwards (which I doubt)

    June 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chris


    June 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jazzzzzzzz

    How much sense does this make... use a truck DUH. It is for SHOW or to get some more publicity for the SHOW.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4