An online petition calling for a Danish circus to release one of its elephants, so it can see out its remaining years in a sanctuary, has attracted over 16,000 signatures.
The African elephant Ramboline, according to the petition on Care2, has reportedly endured 30 years of isolation at Cirkus Trapez in Odense.
The Zimbabwean elephant, the petition’s writer claims, has been “deprived of her natural habitat and the opportunity to socialise with other elephants”.
Rambo like Dumbo
Ramboline’s story echoes that of the Disney elephant Dumbo somewhat. Separated from their mothers, both were forced to perform tricks and isolated from the other elephants.
But while Dumbo mended his heart by learning to fly, Ramboline appears to be resigned to dying of a broken one.
Action, but not enough
According to the petition, the circus was ordered to improve the Zimbabwean elephant’s living conditions in 2015.
“It took a year for the circus to abide by these orders, but not much has changed,” it claimed.
“Ramboline is still completely alone, exploited to perform for profits, and exhibiting signs of sadness and distress.”
Tried to run like Nellie
Several Danish commenters on the petition’s website have underlined the need to take action.
According to Rie J, the elephant is so unhappy she has tried to run away.
While Ulla R claims she witnessed Ramboline deprived of “water and food”.
However, similar complaints about the well-being of several of the circus’s horses proved to be groundless, according to a veterinarian appointed by the authorities to assess their health.
The episode raises fears that the circus is being subjected to a smear campaign and that Ramboline’s story is as fanciful as the one about an elephant with big adorable ears who learned he could fly.