Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) didn’t get what she wanted tonight when she half heartedly agreed to an elephant protection bill that was no where near what she wanted to see in Chicago. Her original request would have eliminated the use of an elephant management tool called an ankus that is used by every elephant Professional throughout the world including Zoos and the Circuses that visit Chicago.
Former Elephant trainer David Blasko stated the bull hook or ankus is a tool to guide and direct elephants, not to harm them with. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Vice-President of Operations, Tom Albert said “We take proper care of our elephants. We use the tool properly.”
“The animal can feel a bull hook just like a dog can feel a leash. Otherwise, it would serve no purpose. But, it’s not cruel if it’s used properly,” Blasko said.
Ald. Smith, whose bill was passed by a City Council committee Thursday, admitted she had to settle for a lesser Bill as she didn’t have the votes to pass the measure as she introduced it following her 2005 campaign to stop the use of elephants in Chicago.