[3Letters to Editor\
Elephant rides at County Fair must stop
I sincerely hope that the Del Mar fair board will finally stop the elephant rides at the County Fair after the fair ends this year (“Fair’s elephant rides come into question,” March 20).
For safety reasons alone, using unprotected contact is a disaster waiting to happen. The latest news that Have Trunk Will Travel, the group that runs the rides, is no longer accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a huge red flag.
I was happy to read that at least two of the board members have wanted to do away with the rides and still do. Hopefully, the remainder of the board members will agree to do the right, safe thing for fairgoers.
I also encourage board member Adam Day, who believes the rides are “educational,” to go see elephants as they should be roaming (relatively) free, without bullhooks leading them around in a circle with people at a time on their backs.
The San Diego Safari Park is more educational than an elephant ride at the fair.
Elephant ride add
Regarding “Board to reconsider elephant rides” (March 19), there is no reason to delay a decision about elephant rides at the San Diego County Fair. Public safety demands the Fair Board end the rides now.
Rides provider Have Trunk Will Travel cannot comply with a new safety policy designed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to protect handlers from being crushed to death or injured by elephants. The AZA policy recognizes it is dangerous to put humans in direct contact with elephants, yet Have Trunk Will Travel has no problem putting children on the backs of 4-ton, wild-caught elephants for rides — and profit.
The fair is the last to offer elephant rides in Southern California. At its April 8 meeting, the board must vote for public safety and against elephant rides.
Director of Science, Research and Advocacy
Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
Elephant ride add II
Thank you for the informative article regarding the Fair Board and Elephant Rides.
I have witnessed these rides at the fairgrounds, and find it unconscionable that these highly intelligent pachyderms, are made to walk in a small circle carrying young children on their backs.
Think for a moment, how brutal it is to make a wild animal stand on its head, or sit on a stool, or take a child for a ride.
Have Trunk Will Travel does not meet the Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards, which prohibit direct elephant/human contact for safety reasons. The elephants of Have Trunk Will Travel live under constant threat and fear of being abused by torturous instruments, such as a bullhook. One must ask how the Fair Board could even consider renewing this company’s contract for 2014 in light of the inherent cruelty and potentially great threat to public safety.