It makes me sad to say that the Humane Society of the United States has made an accusation of cruelty that is completely invalid against the owner of the Maryland Rennaisance Festival and the owner of the two elephants that are part of the festival every year. What's even worse is that the Humane Society has offices in Washington, DC, but they didn't even send a representative to the Maryland Rennaisance Festival in Crownesville, Maryland to talk to the owner of the elephants and ask about their medical care, health, etc. Instead, the Humane Society has launched an alarmist e-mail campaign and put misleading, erroneous and libelous information on their Web site.
My daddy has worked at the Rennaisance festival doing security for the past six years. Part of his job is escorting the elephants into and out of the park on a regular basis. The escorts are there to keep careless and drunk patrons from running up to or failing to get out of the way of the elephants. Both of the elephants are rescues, and are lovingly cared for by their owner and his family. The elephants are clearly happy and in good health and are very affectionate toward their family and enjoy being around people. Two years ago a complaint was made to PETA about the elephants at the Maryland Rennaisance Festival. A representative from PETA came to the fair, observed the elephants for half a day, talked to their owner, view their vet records, and found the claim to be without basis.
Unfortunatley, this makes my parents and I wonder if the Humane Society's other campaigns are equally poorly researched. It just goes to show - you can't believe everything you read. My daddy has contacted other Rennaisance Festival employees about the Humane Society's campaign and they are all planning to respond to the Humane Society about the serious problems with the lack of research and the false implications made in their campaign.