By Elizabeth Putsche, Executive Director of Photographers for Animals
When I was a girl I would look forward to every April. It was my birthday month, and the annual visit from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Every year, my family would make a special trip for my birthday celebration. It's where I fell in love with elephants.
It wasn't until many years later that I learned the truth behind the "magic" - the bullhooks, the chains and cruel confinement - the abysmal treatment and numerous elephant deaths that took place while in the "care" of Ringling staff.
As the Animals in Entertainment Campaign Coordinator at PETA I toured the country a week ahead of Ringling's performance schedule - holding protests and press conferences to inform the public of their cruel practices and encourage a boycott of the circus.