By Lauren O'Brien
Suzy the elephant is finally retiring after years of abuse and negligence by her circus handlers. She is the first of 67 captive circus elephants allowed to retire and find sanctuary after India’s 2013 ban on pachyderms in live animal shows.
Suzy, blind in both eyes and in need of urgent care for her hurt feet, was kept in chains and subjected to perform at the circus without respite. Her body is marked from cruel abuse and she shows signs of mental anxiety. Suzy, along with eight other elephants that experienced a similar torture are being sent to Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Care and Conservation Center. The center will give Suzy and her new friends the veterinary care needed, along with a life free from harm, reports the Dodo.
Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) ruled it unlawful for elephants to be used in circuses throughout the country. AWBI also banned injured and aged animals from being used at circus performances, reports Care2.
Currently, Wildlife SOS India and India’s government have combined efforts to find these circus elephants homes at animal sanctuaries. Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said he hopes Suzy’s experience “will create awareness amongst the public who will not pay for elephant rides and to watch elephants perform in circuses or for touristic activities.”