Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17627
Classification: Beating, Kicking/Stomping
Animal: other wildlife
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Animal was bound
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Friday, Jan 21, 2011

Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 4 files available

Alleged: Nicolae Nitu

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Annie the Asian elephant was filmed being struck with a metal pitchfork, kicked in the face and body and shackled by heavy chains in the winter quarters of the Bobby Roberts Super Circus.

Images show the elephant being hit 48 times and reveal a poor feeding regime, said Animal Defenders International (ADI).

The pressure group, which has previously campaigned for Annie to be released from the circus, shot the covert video over three weeks earlier this year amid concerns for the 57-year-old animal's wellbeing.

Moira Roberts, 72, who runs the circus with her 68-year-old husband Bobby and their family, said they reacted with "shock and horror" when they saw the footage of Annie being abused.

An animal rights group yesterday said it would take Bobby and Moira Roberts to court under animal welfare laws over the treatment of Anne, Britain's last circus elephant.

It came as a picture emerged of Nicolae Nitu, the Romanian groom accused of kicking, punching and stabbing Anne with a pitchfork. He fled his caravan after the Mail confronted the owners on Friday.

It is thought he was tipped off by someone at the circus.

Other animals can be seen being abused in the background of the undercover video. The video shows miniature ponies, and horses being beaten and kicked. As a worker moves along, he is shown spitting on a camel..

The covert footage was filmed between January 21 and February 15 in a barn in Polebrook, Northamptonshire.

Case Updates

A circus elephant who was filmed being abused is to get a new home at Longleat Safari Park.

The elderly performing elephant, named Anne, is being moved to the Wiltshire park after bosses at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus agreed to the change.

Northamptonshire Police is investigating after secretly-filmed video showed the Asian elephant being kicked, hit with a metal pitchfork and being tied up with heavy chains.

The footage was taken by Animal Defenders International (ADI) between January 12 and February 15.

The circus said the alleged incidents "appear to be isolated and at times when Bobby Roberts was away for short periods" and that the groom employed to care for Anne had "disappeared".

Animal rights groups including the ADI, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Born Free Foundation, Longleat and Specialist Wildlife Services met to discuss the best options for the elephant.

In a joint statement, they said: "We are delighted to announce that Mr Roberts has agreed that Anne can be re-homed to a place where she will feel safe and secure.

"Longleat has facilities to house Anne and provide her with a secure environment with the best possible veterinary care."

Anne will be taken to Longleat "as soon as possible", according to the RSPCA.

Precise details of the move are being withheld to make sure that her trip does not attract too much attention and her stress levels are kept down.
Source: - Mar 31, 2011
Update posted on Mar 31, 2011 - 11:21PM 


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