Let's address the elephant in the room
You may have seen a 13 year old video floating around the internet in which there are many edited versions of.
We felt it important to address their claims and assure you that our elephants always receive the best of care.
The video footage these groups are alleging shows mistreatment of our elephants. We agree that it looks terrible. After the initial shock we looked through the video and saw that the footage was selectively edited and altered to intentionally portray us in a negative light. We have identified video that was taken on multiple days six years ago. There are instances of clips of video from the same occurrence broken up into many different clips and inserted out of order and out of context to elicit the most emotional reaction and make it look like the alleged abuse takes place over and over and for no apparent reason.
The animal rights extremists campaign to damage our reputation has been effective simply because the video is public. Proof that the allegations are inaccurate and that the video and sound were manipulated will never be featured as prominently as the negativity in the media and on the Internet simply because it is the animal rights extremist groups that are spreading the video. These deceptive tactics are standard operating procedure for animal extremist groups. It is important not to equate their practices with the meaningful work of legitimate animal welfare organizations.
No legitimate animal welfare agency has ever given any credence to this video, in fact the opposite is true. We have numerous letters and acknowledgements from these agencies as well as our peers recognizing us for the care, conservation and compassion for our elephants as well as elephants all over the world.
We have been caring for elephants for more than four decades. We are certified members of the Zoological Association of America, the Species Survival Plan, and served on the California State Fish and Game Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. We have served as members of the animal welfare committees for the Western Fairs Association, the Outdoor Amusement Business Association, are members of the Elephant Manager’s Association, and are founding members of the International Elephant Foundation. Our elephants participate in research projects to advance elephant health, and breeding programs to ensure the survival of this endangered species.
We have worked with our elephants surrounded by the public at many different venues. We have hosted other elephants care specialists who have observed our husbandry and training techniques for varying periods of time while staying at our ranch, and employed people for the summers to work who live, sleep and work almost continually in view of the elephants. We do not hide our training methods.
In order to house and exhibit our elephants we are licensed and/or routinely inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, American Humane Association, along with local authorities.
Our elephants are trained with the love and respect they richly deserve. Our trainers consistently and responsibly utilize skills similar to those used when training police dogs, service dogs and show horses. There is correction involved in training any animal and appropriate husbandry tools are used for each species, such as a bit for a horse and a collar for a dog. If you shoot a video and show only the correction of an animal and not the events surrounding the correction it would look like the animal were being mistreated even when that is not the case.
We are proud of our contributions to elephant welfare and conservation. We have, and will continue to, always give our elephants the love and care they deserve. They are our heart and soul and we are honored to live and work with them and to be able to share their talents with the public.