Flickr: jenny downing Circus elephants perform tricks that can cause harm to their joints and limbs. In the wild, only copulating male bulls will stand on their back legs -- but circus elephants do this all the time. Many animals have been documented with joint problems, though they often still perform.
5. Circuses break up elephant families
Though wild elephant babies stay with their mothers for decades, circus elephants are sometimes captured in the wild when they are very young. Others are born on breeding farms, but those are separated as well. Separating a mom and her calf causes extreme stress for both of the elephants, and will affect the calf's development, because their bond is so strong. Here's a glimpse of that stunning bond: