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Ringling Bros Sidelines Elephant Suffering Foot Problem

Kevin Killeen
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has sidelined one of its elephants with “toenail problems,” despite getting an “all clear” from St. Louis city animal inspectors.

Circus spokesman Steve Payne with Ringling Brothers says the 35-year old Asian elephant “Siam” missed Thursday night’s performance and may not be in the show for awhile.

“She does have an injured toenail,” Payne said. “She is being treated by one of our veterinarians. She won’t perform while it’s bothering her. It’s day-to-day.”

On Thursday, a video released by animal rights protestors showed Siam favoring one leg as she walked into the Scott Trade Center.

City Health Director Pam Walker said Friday that her team and an expert from the Zoo inspected the elephants Thursday and found they appeared “able to perform.”

In the video shot by an animal rights activist the elephant can be seen favoring one leg as she is led into the Scottrade Center.  Siam can be seen about 2:10 in the video and has a large star marking above her right rear leg.

On Thursday, protestors with the group PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – raised concerns about Siam, claiming that an inspector from the San Diego Zoo had noted the elephant had foot problems in that city.

“She has cracked toenails on two of her feet,” said PETA’s Matt Bruce, “and you can tell, observing the way that she walks, that she’s having major problems.”

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