Anne, the circus elephant who was seen on video being kicked and struck with a pitchfork, has been moved to a new home at a safari park.
Bobby Roberts Super Circus handed the 57-year-old elephant over to the Longleat Safari Park, in Wiltshire, on Sunday. The move was supervised by Animal Defenders International (ADI), the organisation which filmed the elephant being abused by her groom.
"We are overjoyed that Anne is now in a place of safety," said Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI. "The public outpouring of sympathy after ADI filmed this lovely old elephant chained up, beaten, kicked and jabbed with a pitchfork, has saved her. This is a wonderful day and it is also time to say “never again” and end the use of wild animals in circuses.”
Longleat Safari Park says it is delighted to have Anne at the facility.
"Anne coped with the journey admirably well, is safe, well and beginning to settle into her new surroundings," says a message on the park's website.
"In the coming days and weeks a team of three dedicated keepers will provide her with the tender loving care she needs around the clock. She will also receive a full health check and be provided with the best possible veterinary treatment. A decision will then be made on where she will be cared for long-term.
"Anne is an elderly elephant and has been through a huge ordeal. We ask everyone to now leave her in peace so she has the best chance of recovering from her ordeal and settling into her new surroundings."
Longleat, ADI, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), Born Free Foundation, RSPCA and Specialist Wildlife Services will continue to liaise to ensure Anne receives the best care available.
Creamer said that If it had not been for the ADI investigation, Anne's suffering would have continued, and it is important that a ban be placed on wild animals is circuses.
Moira Roberts apologised for hiring Nicolae Nitu, the groom who abused Anne.
"I hired the man. I’m responsible," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying. "I thought I was a good judge of character. I’m not. I have completely lost all my faith in human beings. I hired him and I should not have done so."