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Newark Hosts a Parade of Pachyderms

Annual Event Kicks off Ringling Bros. Appearance at Pru Arena

They may have arrived a tad later than expected, but when the elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus finally did begin their march down Broad Street in Newark last night, they did not disappoint.

In fact, the pachyderms who jogged down Broad left one woman momentarily speechless.

“They’re just so …..,” said Newark resident Cheryl Coxson, turning to her friend, Rin McLaughlin.

“Amazing,” Coxson finally decided. “They’re amazing.”

Coxson and McLaughlin were among the few small knots of people lining Broad Street last night to await the “pachyderm parade,” which began near a rail yard in the eastern part of the city, continued up South Street and then through the heart of Newark along Broad to the Prudential Center. Performances will be held there March 1-4.

The pachyderm parade has been held for the last few years, ever since “The Greatest Show on Earth” returned to Newark in 2008. 

Last night, about a dozen elephants were linked trunk to tail as they trotted north on Broad at a surprisingly brisk pace. Handlers jogged alongside the large but lovable beasts holding yellow cordon rope. The few bystanders on the street around 11 pm, when the brief parade began about 90 minutes past its scheduled start, were asked to stay on the sidewalk so as not to startle the elephants.

The elephants were then led to a holding area across Lafayette Street from the Prudential Center. Parked on Lafayette was a large trailer containing a few baby elephants, who were led into the holding area with the help of handlers and the elephants’ mothers.

Needless to say, the babies were a big hit too.

“Oh my God, I’m going to cry again,” one woman was overhead saying as a mama elephant nudged her tool shed-sized offspring along.

For information on tickets click here .

Cj Ellie February 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM
My family is no longer willing to overlook Ringling Bros Circus continued animal violations. Their last USDA fine of $270,000 for 24 violations of the Animal Welfare Act ended anymore trips to a circus that has exotic animals. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/FEI_signed_agreement.pdf. We won’t go back unless and until they retire all of their exotic animal acts that is the only way I can be sure that no animals were abused to entertain my family. If your family loves elephants you should educate yourself about the inhumane lives these animals live to entertain the circus's audience.
Paul Milo February 29, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Just curious CJ, what was the circus accused of doing? The settlement doesn't say exactly.
Cj Ellie February 29, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Paul, This is one of the 24 USDA violations. A 54 year old elephant is forced to continue to perform while ill and suffering from infections that were not being properly cared for. http://media.signonsandiego.com/news/documents/2011/07/13/elephant.pdf. These are the others. http://rbviolations.webs.com/
Don March 01, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Please learn about what goes on behind the scenes at circuses. The maintenance and training of circus elephants/animals involves emotional and physical abuse. See this policy statement from preeminent elephant researchers/conservationists http://elephanttrust.org/node/414 And this piece from 20/20: http://tiny.cc/elephant-experience

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