Don't miss MBE's 2014 Ringling Bros. Circus Review
|Image from ElephantCenter.com|
The CEC is a 200-acre reserve and facility dedicated to the conservation, breeding and understanding of these beautiful and highly intelligent giant creatures.
|Elephant Mom & Baby, ElephantCenter.com|
Here toddler Mike tries to sit on his toy ball, showing off his childlike nature...
The Asian elephant is most certainly an endangered species, with fewer than 35,000 alive around the world today, so it's really relevant that elephant lovers learn all we can about these amazing animals.
Since I was a child, I've been fascinated by elephants. This summer, finally realized a lifelong dream, I had the rare privilege and honor to be invited behind the scenes to see for myself how well-loved and cared for these gentle giants really are.
|Up close & personal w/ Ringling Bros. Stars in Anaheim, MommyBlogExpert.com|
|And even closer, MommyBlogExpert.com|
Feeding the elephants is also a priority for caregivers who make sure that each animal receives a 50 pound dinner every day consisting of apple, carrots, bred, oat hay and a feed supplement. This is just the beginning of all the circus does for the elephants.
|The Elephants' home away from home, MommyBlogExpert.com|
Truly, I learned much more than I can share in a single blogpost. So, for now I'll focus on telling how Ringling Bros. enriches the lives of every elephant in their care, both the ones back at CEC and the ones on the road that travel by specially-outfitted trains and trucks as they tour around the U.S.
Check out this video I shot at the elephant enclosure that day. This little gal was really showing off for me...
"On this particular circus tour we have nine female elephants with seven actually performing in the show," says Frisco. "These range from Karen, the oldest at 47 years old, to little April, the youngest and smallest at about 2500 pounds who is 4-1/2 years old and no longer considered a baby."
"We don't really train the elephants," explains Frisco. "Instead we observe them to watch for the things they do naturally and then integrate those moves and gestures into their performances. The trainers never force an elephant to do something they don't want to do because it's all about their safety and well-being, rather than the public shows. In fact, each elephant is only on stage for a total of about 10 minutes per performance showcasing her natural abilities which also serves to provide the proper exercise and keep her in the best physical shape possible."
|Getting ready for the show, MommyBlogExpert.com|
"It's important that people continue to talk about these magnificent animals and bring awareness because they are endangered and we are the only ones that can make a difference," says Janice Aria, director of animal stewardship for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation. "Our staff and trainers get to appreciate these animals daily, but I'm glad they have a special day where people all over the world can appreciate them too."
|Elphie Selfie at the Elephant Enclosure in Anaheim, MommyBlogExpert.com|
Ringling Bros., a world leader in care and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant looks after 44 elephants -- the largest herd of its type in the Western Hemisphere -- and has 144 plus years experience and expertise with pachyderms. In 1995, the Ringling Bros. CEC, a sophisticated facility dedicated to reproduction, research and retirement of Asian elephants, was created. This is home to most of the Ringling Bros. elephant herd: retired performers, calves and their mothers, male elephants and elephants that might not prefer the circus lifestyle.
Information on the center is available online at ElephantCenter.com. Also follow Ringling Bros. on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on other elephant news.