A hundred years ago, an elephant named Mary was strung up by a crane and publicly hanged to death in a Tennessee town after she struck back at a circus employee who hit her with a sharp tool called a bullhook.
It took two attempts to kill Mary. The first chain placed around her neck snapped, sending her crashing to the ground and breaking her hip. The second attempt was successful. Her broken body was buried nearby. No monument exists to commemorate Mary, just this shocking image, which serves as a haunting reminder of the circus industry’s long history of killing and abuse. Mary was killed in 1916. Today, 100 years later, elephants still suffer in traveling circus shows.
Beating animals and driving them mad for tawdry human entertainment have no place in civilized society. While kind people hope such shameful acts of exploitation—like hanging Mary from a crane…
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