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Circus Elephant Helps Clear Heavy Rubble from Joplin Tornado

June 1, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Animal Kingdom with 1 Comment

The Picadilly Circus was in Joplin, Missouri , scheduled to perform last Sunday. But mother nature got in the way and the show was cancelled after a massive tornado ripped through the city killing 123 people and leaving thousands homeless. It was the worst single tornado to strike the United States since modern record keeping began in 1950 and left a daunting amount of rubble in its wake.

The folks at the circus decided there was a way they could help clear some of this rubble, especially the heavier objects like cars and even SUVs– one of their elephants. And so it was that passersby witnessed the uniquely peculiar sight of an elephant dragging vehicles around in the middle of Missouri.

WDAF was also there and produced the report you’ll see below.

Pressing their elephant into service wasn’t the only way the Picadilly Circus lent a hand to the hard-hit city after the storm. Circus performers also visited victims in the local hospital, which itself did not escape damage from the storm.

But not everyone approved of the spectacle of an elephant clearing rubble. “I think the circus people generally want to help, but I think this a bad idea,” one woman told WDAF.

“It’s sad that they put an animal through that,” said another.

But others defended the circus. “They’re here to help. Their heart is in the right place,” said one man.

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One Comment

  1. FranziskaJune 1, 2011 at 9:40 amReply

    I think it’s wrong to enslave wild animals and train them to do things that are not natural to them. The elephant shouldn’t have been in Missouri in the first place!

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