Former circus animals such as the elephant Shirley are today enjoying socializing with a herd without being confined into a small space, alone and lonely. It's important to remember that elephants are highly sociable beings, so being with a herd is important to them. So it's no surprise that Shirley and other former circus elephants are better off in a good sanctuary, or even better, in the wild.
How can you help? Say no to any circus using animals in their performances and help raise public awareness. Even though it might be surprising to some, many people simply don't realize what's behind the animal acts they see in circuses.
If you are serious about animal welfare and care, you could also volunteer in an elephant sanctuary in Thailand or India. The elephants coming to these sanctuaries have many different background stories, some of them have been used in performances others have been injured. Help bringing joy back to their lives and make a positive contribution!