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Was This Basketball-Playing Elephant Beaten?

Chuck, an elephant who is only six years old—just a child—is held captive at African Lion Safari (ALS), a “drive-through wildlife park” in Ontario, Canada. ALS forces elephants—including babies who are only a few months old—to perform circus-style tricks through the use of metal-tipped clubs called bullhooks. It appears that a trainer is wielding one of these torture instruments behind Chuck in the video—likely as a constant reminder to the young elephant that painful punishment awaits if he fails to perform. For elephants who have been “trained” by being beaten with bullhooks—and that’s every elephant who is forced to perform, as there is no other known way to make elephants do tricks—the mere presence of a bullhook is enough to frighten them into complying with the trainer’s demands.

Elephants don’t play basketball in nature, and the only reason they perform silly tricks like this is because they know they’ll be beaten if they don’t. Please don’t be duped by this or other cruel animal acts.

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