Vallejo, Calif. – A box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way from PETA to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in thanks for the Vallejo theme park’s decision not to offer elephant rides. The move comes just weeks after TripAdvisor banned sales of tickets to elephant rides and California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation banning bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end, which handlers use to beat elephants into submission.
“Today more than ever, the public is opposed to bullying elephants into performing tricks and giving rides,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges families to listen to their hearts and stick to fairs and theme parks that are animal-free.”
As PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—noted in its correspondence with Six Flags, the theme park previously contracted with Have Trunk Will Travel, whose handlers were caught on tape beating elephants with bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods. In addition, on average, one human is killed in the U.S. every year by a captive elephant, and many more are injured.