Connect with vegetarian and vegan friends from all over the world.
Mary was a circus elephant in the 1900's. Her story is one of sadness, and heartbreak. I wanted to share with all of you her story. Learning of Mary has made a huge impact on my life and I think she deserves to be remembered <3
"On September 11, 1916, a hotel worker named Red Eldridge was hired as an assistant elephant trainer by the circus. On the evening of September 12 he was killed by Mary in Kingsport, Tennessee, while taking her to a nearby pond to splash and drink. There have been several accounts of his death. One, recounted by W.H. Coleman who claimed to be a witness, is that he prodded her behind the ear with a hook, repeatedly jabbing and taunting her,after she reached down to nibble on a watermelon rind. She went into a rage, snatched Eldridge with her trunk, threw him against a drink stand and stepped on his head, crushing it."
"The circus owner, Charlie Sparks, decided that the only way to quickly resolve the potentially ruinous situation was to kill the elephant in public. On the following day, a foggy and rainy September 13, 1916, she was transported by rail to Erwin, Tennessee, where a crowd of over 2,500 people (including most of the town's children) assembled in the Clinchfield Railroad yard.
The elephant was hanged by the neck from a railcar-mounted industrial crane. The first attempt resulted in a snapped chain, causing Mary to fall and break her hip as dozens of children fled in terror. The severely wounded elephant died during a second attempt and was buried beside the tracks."
After being forced to perform and treated like garbage, Mary had finally had enough. I believe justice was served only partially in the fact that Mary killed the man who tormented her. All she wanted was a watermelon rind. The horrific way the Circus owner handled what happened haunts me, I can only imagine the fear and pain Mary experienced in the last moments of her life. She did no wrong- she was only trying to protect herself- after long endured abuse- it's no wonder dear Mary had enough.
While we do not hear of such executions taking place today- the abuse for animals in circuses still runs rampant- elephants and many other animals used in the entertainment industry are abuse and forced to perform by fear tactics and pain conditioning.
Mary may have lived many years ago but her story still rings true- animals do not belong in the entertainment industry- they belong free and in the wild where they can roam and live naturally. It is their right to do so. As humans, we can either respect that right, or deny it- but we cannot be surprised when the animals have had enough.
Please, boycott the circus and all forms of animal use for entertainment.
In Memory of Mary, The Elephant who never truly lived <3