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Rose-Tu’s Baby Must Not Be Handed to Elephant Abusers

By David Thompson

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Animal Defenders International (ADI) has released video evidence of the company who appears to have the rights to Rose-Tu’s baby, Have Trunk Will Travel, beating their elephants with bullhooks and shocking them with stun guns. ADI is sending a message to Kim Smith, ex-officio Director at the Oregon Zoo, calling on the zoo to rescind this agreement.

A portion of the video can be viewed at:


(High resolution VNR footage available upon request. )


The footage shows:

·                Elephants cry out when being electric shocked into performing a headstand
·                Elephants are beaten about the body and legs with bull hooks
·                A baby elephant is hooked in the lip and cries out

 Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International (ADI): “ADI has released recordings of training of elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel in Perris, CA, where the animals were hit with bullhooks and electric shocked with stun guns by the owners, Gary and Kari Johnson, and their trainers. The video includes a vicious hit on the head and hooking in the mouth of baby elephant Tucker. The Johnsons, who have insisted that they stand by their training methods, own the elephant Tusko, and have a contractual agreement to Rose-Tu's baby. We are appalled at the prospect of Rose-Tu's baby being handed over to Have Trunk Will Travel, considering the abuse seen on our video, and call upon the Oregon Zoo to rescind the agreement, in light of the evidence we have provided.”



High resolution VNR footage and photographs are available.

Lori De Waal
Office: 323-462-4122
[email protected]

The video was shot by an ADI investigator working for HTWT, who documented the routine abuse of elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel’s Perris California compound.  In the video, elephants are repeatedly given electric shocks with hand held stun guns and beaten about the head and body with bullhooks during training. Gary and Kari Johnson, owners of Have Trunk Will Travel, have insisted that they stand by their training methods. Tusko was not present at Have Trunk Will Travel at the time of the ADI investigation, he had been moved to the OR Zoo just before the investigation began. The baby elephant seen on the video is Tucker.


Animal Defenders International

ADI is leading the campaign to end the suffering of animals in entertainment and currently has major campaigns running in Europe, South America and the USA. ADI recently rescued and relocated a record breaking 29 circus lions from Bolivia to sanctuaries in the U.S. ADI collaborated with Bolivia’s wildlife officials, to enforce Bolivia’s national ban on the use of animal in traveling circuses, enacted after ADI undercover investigations exposed the suffering of circus animals.

With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.


Published on Dec 04, 2012

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