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Denmark gives 4 circus elephants the perfect retirement gift

The performing days of Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny are over. Denmark’s last four remaining circus elephants were purchased by the government for 11 million kroner ($1.6 million) to allow them a happy retirement.

Denmark is working on a ban on using wild animals in circuses. It’s expected to be in place later this year.

“We have come up with a really sensible solution so that the elephants can get better,” said Food and Fisheries Minister Mogens Jensen, in a translated press release. “Wild animals do not belong to either a stable or a riding school, and when the [Danish Parliament] opens, I will propose a new animal welfare law, so that we finally get wild animals banned from the circus.”

Three of the elephants were purchased from Cirkus Arena and the third came from Cirkus Trapez.

last performing circus elephants in Denmark Now, the government is searching for the perfect retirement setting for them.(Photo: Denmark Ministry of the Environment and Food)

The ministry is accepting applications for a retirement home for the elephants. Only zoos and similar animal facilities are open to apply for the elephants; the animals won’t be given to individuals. The application deadline is Sept. 30. Until the elephants are placed in their new homes, Animal Protection Denmark will “ensure their welfare,” the ministry said.

“I’m sorry to say goodbye to our three elephants,” said Benny Berdino, director of Circus Arena, “but at the same time I am pleased that they can now retire from work and enjoy a well-earned rest.”

Denmark’s decision to end animal performances in circuses follows an international trend. Circuses around the world have increasingly dropped their animal acts, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which announced in 2015 that it would voluntarily phase out elephant performances.

Ironically, this contributed to its decision to close the circus two years later. Without elephants, the show couldn’t go on.

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.

Denmark gives 4 circus elephants the perfect retirement gift

Denmark’s last circus elephants have just gone into retirement.


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