Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ringling Bros. Elephant Appreciation Day Celebrated by Pachyderm Lovers Everywhere


Don't miss MBE's 2014 Ringling Bros. Circus Review 

Image from ElephantCenter.com
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC) celebrated Elephant Appreciation Day #ElephantAppreciationDay #EAD yesterday by providing a comprehensive array of elephant content for media, bloggers and fans to share with readers, friends and family. 

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
With 26 Asian elephant births to date at Ringling Bros. CEC, the newest calf Mike (born 6/27/13) definitely stole the show online today with his adorable personality and antics that the public can view in a series of videos. In addition to playtime with his mommy, you'll see him slopping in the mud like a little child as well as playing with his toys including a log and a giant ball. 

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
This extraordinary opportunity included visiting the elephant enclosure at the Honda Center in Anaheim during the Ringling Bros. most recent tour through Southern California. During that short visit I learned so much more than I ever imagined from seeing the animals up close as well as interviewing Joey Frisco, devoted and loving senior elephant handler and third generation circus member. 
And even closer, MommyBlogExpert.com
For one thing, Ringling Bros. employs a staff of caring and knowledgable veterinarians and technicians who specialize in elephants. Each elephant -- whether at the CEC or on tour -- receives routine preventative healthcare, excellent food and specially designed travel habitats. Furthermore, in every city where Ringling Bros. performs, a neutral vet must examine each and every elephant that will be in the show.

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
In addition to changing surroundings and environments as they travel 42-43 weeks of the year, daily enrichment activities also keeps life interesting and stimulating for the elephants. Among their favorite toys are logs, auto tires, bamboo and giant sandpiles which they love to roll in as well as toss around. 

"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
About Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC)
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.

Another Post Coming soon!
Insider's on-site interview with the Ringling Bros. lion tamer

FTC Disclosure: I received behind the scenes access to the Ringling Bros. elephant enclosure and staff to facilitate this review. However, I did not receive payment or compensation associated with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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