Thursday 03 August 2023 | 49

From the circus to a zoo, Baby’s ordeal continues on the other side of the Mediterranean

From the circus to a zoo, Baby’s ordeal continues on the other side of the Mediterranean

Mis à jour le 25 October 2023

In June 2023, we went back to see Baby, this time in Tunisia. Alone in an enclosure without any water or an area to rest in, she has difficulty in standing on her legs which cause her acute pain. In France, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition condemns animals kept by circuses to get rid of them quickly.

Hr blog

After having documented the arrival of Baby at the zoo in Tunisia a few weeks ago, we went there to follow up on our investigation into her exploitation that has been ongoing for more than thirty years.

In the middle of the enclosure, the concrete pool is desperately empty. Nothing is provided to protect her from the blazing sun, or to relieve her disabled legs. And she risks falling in the empty pool at any moment and injuring herself even more. This new prison does not even have a single bit of enrichment that could allow her to break her boredom. So, to relieve the unbearable pain in her legs, Baby leans against a wall, her back to the public, without ever being able to escape them. She now struggles to rely on two of her legs. Her suffering is outrageous.

In a deafening racket of music and shouts, and while visitors throw her inedible food, Baby seems to be condemned to being locked up doing repetitive movements. Still isolated, she was quickly forgotten by Gilbert Bauer. The trainer, who did not stop professing his love for her, can no longer take a profit.

A dangerous place to die for the animals and the public alike

The water available to the monkeys, like for most of the animals, consists of a small dirty puddle. Even the ducks do not have a real pond. The bear running out of strength that was filmed in February seems to have disappeared… replaced by two others who kill time by watching visitors throw them food over the green-tinged water.

Worse: children enter into the hippopotamus’ enclosure to provoke him by making sudden gestures and throwing branches at him from the side of his pool. No one intervenes to move these intruding youths away from this animal who is part of a very dangerous territorial species.

A bit further, there is a board saying “Do not throw stones at the crocodiles”, reminding us that one of them was stoned to death.

The State continues to protect circuses to the detriment of the animals

Baby should never have been sent to this place to die. After her trainer having been convicted twice following our investigation at Parc Saint Léger in 2019 then a repeat offence in 2022, the legal system should have entrusted her to us. We actually proposed that we take charge of her and place her in a sanctuary where she would finally benefit from being cared for and some tranquillity.

While the government puts forward its “fight against animal mistreatment” by boasting about the end of wild animals being present in circuses, it would rather empty travelling establishments of their animals as quickly as possible whatever their fate may be, with no regard for the solutions that we have offered. After having left Dumba to dash off to Germany where she died less than a year later, Kamala to go the United Kingdom after the death of her companion Mina, or Nelly and Brigit as well as Rosa and Bambi who were sent to a circus in Hungary, it is unsurprising that the Ministry of Ecology has done everything they can to get rid of Baby, an elephant thrown out in the trash. The State undoubtedly thinks that we will applaud these despicable actions. In addition to the ministerial decree published on 13 July that unfortunately allowed circuses to obtain competency certificates equivalent to those held by zoos.

We no longer expect anything from the Ministry who have delivered animals from a protected species into the worst possible conditions. But for Baby and all of the others, we will continue to rally. Until their last breath.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Marion Henriet
Hr blog

In the subject

Against all odds for Samba, the last ‘circus’ elephant, whose suffering has broken the State’s indifference We will defend the animals from the Franco-Belge Circus before the courts.

Comments 49

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Carole | Monday 04 September 2023

Quelle honte pour mon pays... Faites quelque chose.

Olivo | Wednesday 23 August 2023

Il faudrait que les ministres puissent être jugés, devant les tribunaux, en France, pour non assistance à animaux en danger. Ces pauvres animaux envoyés dans différents pays, ou les visiteurs n'ont pas l'éducation, pour respecter la dignité de ces êtres fragiles.

Aimée | Monday 21 August 2023

Libérez la pauvre "Baby"! Merci.

daniele pradeau | Monday 14 August 2023

Allons nous finir numéro 1 des pays non civilisés ? J'interpelle les ministres : un peu d'empathie, je pense que vous devriez en avoir avant que la roue tourne...
Honte à ce pays dans tous les domaines.