Last night, the Tonight Show featured a beautiful Asian elephant named Roxy who was paraded on stage with two handlers in tow to interact with host Jimmy Fallon for what was supposed to be a lighthearted bit. And sure enough, the crowd guffawed as she stomped on some fruit before being directed to lift Fallon up with her trunk.
It might have been a real laugh-fest, that is, if it weren't really so deeply sad.
At one point, perhaps to take the clearly exploitative edge off by adding a smidgen of educational value to the segment, guest Jeff Musial, an ‘animal expert,' offered this bit of important information about Roxy's species:
"People don't understand, they're disappearing so fast in the wild that conservation is a big thing with these guys."
And he's right. Every year, hundreds of elephants are abducted from the forests of Asia to be sold into captivity for human use as beasts of burden or as props for entertainment. But what he failed to mention was that Roxy herself was one of them taken from her natural habitat for that latter purpose.