Friday 21 May 2021 | 4

One Voice is at the administrative court in Marseille on Wednesday 26 May at 10am for Samba the elephant


Mis à jour le 21 June 2021

After years of exploitation, Samba deserves to retire. The poor elephant has suffered beatings with a stick and isolation for far too long. However, One Voice are the only ones to have been worried about her well-being for around 20 years. The Association summoned the Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône to trial at the Marseille Administrative Court because the Prefecture has a responsibility regarding all captive wild animals in their jurisdiction.

Hr blog

On Wednesday 26 May at 10am, the hearing took place at the Marseille Administrative Court of Appeals against the ruling of 12 July 2019. On this date, One Voice’s complaint, which condemned the Prefect’s refusal to proceed with Samba’s retirement from the circus that was keeping her, was rejected. For the Association, removing the elephant from a life in a circus must happen as soon as possible, whether it be the circus belonging to Max Aucante (Cirque d’Europe) or any other. Giving up is not part of their vocabulary. A life is at stake.

Samba experienced traumatising incidents and One Voice has fought for her for 19 years. The African Elephant was captured from where she lived peacefully surrounded by her mother and aunts. She suffered violence from the trainers from a very young age. She was beaten in front of children… and the one time that she rebelled, she bolted, taking the life of a man with her. We managed to ensure that she was not slaughtered, but she remained in the possession of the trainer, Max Aucante, and was renamed Tania. Since, our fight has not stopped.

In this case, the Ministry for Ecological Transition was trying to avoid the truth: in his submission, he tersely concluded that he “was referring to observations presented in the first instance by the Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône, which he agreed with”. And nothing since. However, the announcement of measures to stop touring circuses from keeping animals in September 2020 could have since led to another standpoint…

We claim that Samba is deprived of all contact with her own kind, in violation with the by-law of 18 March 2011 regulating that circuses require satisfaction of behavioural requirements. This need for socialisation is all the more prominent among mammals defined as “socially complex”, such as elephants, apes, and orcas. On this point, the 23rd resolution implemented during the 11th Conference on the Conservation of Migratory Species under the umbrella of the United Nations, is very clear: “a certain number of socially complex mammalian species, such as many species of cetaceans, great apes, and elephants, show that they have a non-human culture”. Samba needs to be taken out of the circus to finally live surrounded by her own kind, because, as for all herd animals, isolation makes them mad with despair.

We would also like to refer to our investigative videos, as is customary for us, because in these cases, justice often needs additional tangible proof as well as expertise. In October 2019, one of our investigators attended a circus performance in Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours. These images were submitted to Dr. Willem Schaftenaar, an elephant specialist who is totally independent from the Association, for his opinion. They gave rise to a further complaint, enriched by his expertise. For him, Samba-Tania should be left to rest.

For us, and this is what we are again asking the court: her state of physical and mental health, as well as her confined conditions, should be evaluated; the Cirque d’Europe and Max Aucante should no longer be able to show Samba-Tania to the public (we request that the opening rights of the circus are repealed in relation to this); and she should be retired from the circus and entrusted to us. As soon as possible.

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Circuses supply skins and corpses to a tout-Paris taxidermist. Eye opening. Poliakov trial: does France really protect wild animals?

Comments 4

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

Nadia | Thursday 17 June 2021

Samba est victime d'une justice anthropocentrée et spéciste très partiale et intéressée, soutenue par le honteux déni de ses capacités qui devraient lui permettre de bénéficier de la personnalité animale et des droits qui y sont associés. Mais son appropriation abusive par une tyrannie humaine sans frein institutionnel a permis son maintien scandaleux dans des conditions de détention insoutenables, la retenant dans un esclavage ignoble. L'évolution du droit devrait permettre l'interdiction des animaux sauvages dans les cirques mais pourra-t-elle en bénéficier ou bien devrons-nous assister impuissants à une fin profondément révoltante, lui interdisant jusqu'au bout de vivre autrement que retenue dans cette captivité indigne ? Quand One Voice aura-t-elle le jugement qui pourra permettre à Samba de prendre enfin une retraite attendue dans un sanctuaire adapté ? S'il vous plait, Mesdames et Messieurs les juges, soyez humains, pas post mortem ! Merci One Voice pour votre combat et dans l'attente de la décision de la cour administrative d'appel, très cordialement et de tout coeur avec Samba

Monique | Saturday 12 June 2021

C'est inacceptable de savoir et de voir que cette éléphante dépérit physiquement et psychologiquement et qu'après plus de 20 ans de combat et des rapports d'experts à la clé, le tribunal Administratif de Marseille n'ait pas jugé de lui rendre la liberté.
Lorsqu'on voit qu'en INDE ils ne maltraitent plus les éléphants, HONTE à la FRANCE qui n'évolue pas !
Au 21ème siècle il ne doit plus y avoir d'esclaves dans les cirques !
La JUSTICE doit juger sans parti pris, ni a priori, et surtout, sans tenir compte d'avis personnels, pouvant influer de manière significative et regrettable, sur la neutralité de sa décision.
Que les circassiens s'entrainent eux-mêmes à faire leurs numéros de cirque sans utiliser les animaux pour se faire du fric ! La vie des animaux sauvages n'est pas d'être confinés dans des espaces restreints mais de vivre LIBRE. Des parcs agréés sont disposés et étaient prêts à recueillir SAMBA/TANIA. N'attendons pas qu'elle meure !!!

trochu | Wednesday 26 May 2021

Comme toujours profondément avec vous pour exiger la libération de cette éléphante exploitée et utilisée à des fins distractives, et j'espère que vous obtiendrez enfin gain de cause concernant cette triste affaire et toutes les autres. Les animaux n'ont rien à faire mais rien à faire dans des cirques et c'est la logique même et l'évidence!
En 2021 plus aucun cirque ne doit encore avoir le droit d'exploiter et maltraiter des animaux sauvages et autres animaux, un cirque ne doit pas être synonyme de maltraitances, tortures, exploitations d'animaux mais de grand civisme, grandeur et respect de toutes vies animales en refusant la présence de ces derniers, êtres vivants et non pas "objets de distraction ou moyen de se faire de l'argent" sur leurs dos, STOP!

klinou.8@gmail.com | Tuesday 25 May 2021

Qu'on mette cette pauvre éléphante à la retraite, l'humain n'a que trop profité d'elle!