Friday 25 March 2022 | 5

Samba — the eternal exploitation of a circus elephant


Mis à jour le 08 June 2022

We have been following the Cirque d’Europe for more than twenty years, to protect Samba. This autumn, it was reported to us as sometimes being in Salouël, sometimes in Mouroux, or even in Malesherbs... More recently, in mid-February, we noticed it in Marolles-en-Hurepoix, then in Goussainville in the last few days, where one of our investigators visited. He filmed the elephant, when she was not hidden by the circus staff.

Hr blog

On 14 March 2022, the Cirque d’Europe had then parked their lorries and camper vans in Foussainville, as they have done for years, and as another ten or so other circuses do. The town does not seem very vigilant of the misery of the animals subjected to travelling and training, so it is a key stop-off for circus performers...

Samba, always hidden away

As they do every time, the employees of trainer Max Aucante position the lorries in such a way as to hide the maximum amount of the animals, and in particular Samba of course. Animal advocates should not be able to film her.

A fight lasting over twenty years, led for Samba by One Voice teams

In the spring of last year, the appeal hearing of our summons of the prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône took place to obtain the withdrawal of the circus’ opening licence. The Court of Appeal did not rule in our favour... but we have not stopped the fight despite this.

In January, we reached out to the Ministry of the Ecological Transition with a letter explaining for the umpteenth time how appalling Samba’s life is and how she is inevitably suffering in such conditions. We demanded that the Minster intervene for her to finally be put into a sanctuary.

Because it has been more than twenty years that One Voice has been defending this elephant... and we will never stop. She should be at Elephant Haven where, since our participation in this wonderful project back when it started, a place is waiting for her. This sanctuary awaits only her. Samba will be able to live there in semi-freedom, far from the lorries, the stares, sticks, being hit with a cattle prod, and from forced isolation.

Is the Ministry of the Ecological Transition’s policy to let circus performers have all captive animals in French circuses? To let them send them abroad? The legislative decree of the 30 November 2021 law relating to circus animals is still not published (this is not the only one)! This certainly allows the government to claim victory even though their exploitation will continue outside of France until death ensues... (there is no doubt that there would then be no need for a law and for decrees). Out of sight, out of mind... but not for us!

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Tigers belonging to a cirque M. Masson trainer: Hearing in Beauvais on 20/09 following One Voice’s investigation Nouveau Cirque Triomphe: One Voice vs Gougeon and Mordon at the Bourgoin-Jallieu Tribunal on 14 September

Comments 5

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

annette56-50 | Sunday 29 May 2022

Je suis dégoûtée de voir qu'en 2022 des spectacles d'un autre temps continuent à exister. Dégoûtée de constater que certains humains sont exempts d'empathie.
Pitié pour Samba !!!

Olivo | Thursday 07 April 2022

Honte à ces monstres qui exhibent Samba.
Honte aux personnes qui vont voir ces tristes "spectacles".
Il faut réagir, on est au 21eme siècle.

Sarah | Thursday 31 March 2022

20 ans... j'en perds mes mots. Je suis sincèrement désolée Samba pour ce que les humains t'ont fait subir. Tu n'as pas eu de chance ma jolie...

Tosca | Thursday 31 March 2022

Honte à l'État français de laisser perdurer la maltraitance des animaux de cirque, quand cessera cette complaisance ? Ces animaux ne sont pas faits pour vivre dans des cages mais vivre en liberté dans la savane. Que ceux qui ferment les yeux, fassent un petit séjour en prison pour connaître les souffrances de vivre sans liberté et en petit espace clos sans avoir rien fait de répréhensible pour s'y retrouver...