Anne was well cared for by circus owners

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I WRITE regarding Anne the elephant, who has been in the ET and national news recently, with all the things being said about Roberts Brothers Circus.

In their defence, I must say that Anne has only lived this long due to her being well looked after. I used to work for the circus a few years ago – on two occasions no less. Firstly, in 1979, I joined them at Huntingdon, when they had eight elephants, Mary, Janey, Beverley, Anne, Maureen, Rebecca, Rosie and Baby, the last two being the smallest of them all.

I was there for quite a while, and in all that time the animals in the circus were very well looked after. They had the best food and, because they were Indian elephants, their water was warmed to the same temperature it would be India.

I had great respect for the elephants and, believe me, if an elephant didn’t want to do anything it wouldn’t. They used to play with balls and would kick the ball back to you. Mary was the lady of them all – if you put something under her feet she would not move until you moved it. It didn’t matter what it was,

I was their groom, there where four of us then, and they enjoyed all the fuss that was made of them,

When Bobby Roberts came to the tent at night to say goodnight to them, they were like little puppies, they loved him as much as he loved them. He would never knowingly let anyone who would hurt them anywhere near them. That goes for all the animals.

They where groomed every day, washed and brushed, then when the circus was getting ready to move, they knew that they could dig up the ground with their feet and just have a wild time with it, and the water too.

My belief is that if they were in the wild, they would have never made it to this age. They really had the best of everything – even the tent was heated for them if it was too cold.

These animal rights people haven’t got a clue what they are talking about. Bobby and his wife took good care of them, of all the animals. If anyone raised their voices in anger at them they would be fired, so just because one person was caught on camera hitting Anne doesn’t mean we all did – because we didn’t. If I had seen him do it I would have dragged his backside to Bobby and that would have been that. Anne also has mood swings, as do all animals. If she was in a mood she would let you know, so don’t think because she’s now in a zoo it will stop for her new grooms, I respect them, but they should also be aware of this.

I enjoyed my time at the circus while there, but I decided to leave because I wanted to settle down and have a family – otherwise I would still be there.

So enough about the animals, are the activists OK with Anne now being at a zoo? I doubt it.

The person who filmed the incident, was he or she trespassing? I would say so, so are they going to be prosecuted? I would hope so.

Just remember, if the animals were left in the wild, their biggest threat would be man – nothing else.

While they are with the circus or in a zoo, they are safe, very safe, and Anne has reached this age because she’s been looked after.

Well done to Roberts Brothers Circus for looking after them. And remember – an elephant never forgets. It’s been quite a few years, but Anne would remember me.

Bob Anderson

Orton Goldhay,

Peterborough

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