This has been a rough year for everyone because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused lockdowns around the world, but it's undoubtedly been especially hard for Minnie, the elephant forced to live alone by R.W. "This year, the Commerford Petting Zoo will present elephant education shows, a meet and greet and photo opportunity daily at their Gate 4 location." 102 reviews of Commerford & Sons "ABUSE / CRUELTY My son received free passes from his Kindergarten to what was billed as a family friendly traveling zoo in MA. Free the Commerford Elephants: Send Beulah, Karen, and Minnie to Sanctuary The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the cause of death was unknown. Join or renew today. Created over a month ago and having raised only $1,345 to date, the fundraiser states that Minnie “has been directly affected” by the lockdowns: “When the humans cannot work, the animals suffer too.”, “We understand the Commerford Zoo is in dire straights,” Fern said. The NhRP finds this fundraiser especially disappointing and egregious, said Fern, because the organizers, who’ve been in touch with the NhRP multiple times since 2018, and the Commerford Zoo “all know Minnie has a place waiting for her in a sanctuary, and it would cost them nothing to do the right thing and release her.”, Fern further stated: “That they now refer to the Commerfords’ property—where Minnie is controlled by a bullhook, confined most of the time to a dark, barren barn, and lacks the company of other elephants—as a sanctuary is an absurd ploy to solicit donations they wouldn’t need if they released her to an actual elephant sanctuary.”. The company is called Commerford Zoo. © 2020 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Recently the NhRP learned of an online fundraiser set up by the family that sold Minnie (whom they call Mignon) to the Commerford Zoo in 1976. The elephants have been crammed into cages and transported across the Northeast U.S. forced to perform while being painfully poked and pulled by a handler’s bullhook at every stop. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo in Goshen, Conn. As confirmed by the USDA in response to an inquiry from U.S. Beulah and Karen both died in 2019, leaving Minnie the sole surviving elephant in the custody of the Commerford Zoo. Founded in Goshen, Connecticut, by Robert “Bob” W. Commerford, the Commerford Zoo (also known as R.W. The Elephants. Beulah and Karen, along with an Asian elephant named Minne, were used in their traveling show and petting zoo, along with a variety of other wild animals. As detailed in the NhRP’s motion for a temporary injunction, the NhRP believes the Commerford Zoo intends to move Minnie to Florida, which “will only condemn her to exploitation that will end, as it did with Beulah and Karen, with her death.” Requests for temporary injunctions are generally sought at the trial court level; the NhRP’s motion is likely the first time the Connecticut Supreme Court will consider such a request. Tim Commerford, one of the zoo's owners, said in an interview that the criticism is off base, describing Beulah - one of three elephants owned by the Commerfords - … In 1973, she was sold to the Commerford Zoo in Goshen, CT (see below), which frequently used her in circuses and fairs where she was power-washed (“complete with a gaggle of onlookers crowded around with lawn … The letter —whose signatories include the PETA Foundation, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the Humane Society of the United States—stresses the … Sign up today for your free Reader Account. The USDA has cited the Commerford Zoo over 50 times for failing to adhere to the minimum standards required by the Animal Welfare Act, including failing to provide the elephants … Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo, based in Connecticut. The NhRP submitted a complaint online to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and via email to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Torrington Police Department’s Animal Control Division, all of which have a responsibility to investigate animal welfare concerns pertaining to the Commerford Zoo. Fair officials on Wednesday said the elephant, owned by R.W. A Bit of Our History It all began with some simple horse buying and selling, but soon we were showing up at local county fairs with rides and parade costumes on. Commerford Zoo holds Kids Fun Fairs, has a petting zoo, carnival games and rides, and private animal rentals. Both the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s sanctuary in California and The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the US’s two accredited elephant sanctuaries, have offered to provide Minnie with lifetime care no cost to the Commerford Zoo. She died in March of 2019 but her death was not revealed to the public until months later. “We were extremely worried about Minnie well before the COVID-19 crisis and are even more so now,” said Courtney Fern, the NhRP’s Director of Government Relations and Campaigns. The NhRP has repeatedly offered to drop its litigation against the Commerford Zoo—originally brought on behalf of Minnie and two elephants, Beulah and Karen, who have since died—if they agreed to release Minnie to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (TES) or the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary (PAWS), both of which are vastly larger than the Commerford Zoo’s property and specially designed to meet elephants’ complex needs. We have rides, games, and a … The grassroots campaign to free Minnie to an accredited sanctuary has gained the support of Sen. Blumenthal, Connecticut State Representative David Michel, Representative Anne Hughes, and other lawmakers. WEST SPRINGFIELD — Beulah, an Asian elephant slated to take part in The Big E’s 17-day run this year, has died. For the sake of Minnie, and the many other animals at their facility, they need to let them go to a sanctuary, and do so immediately. Commerford & Sons petting zoo for more than 18 years, according to the Voice. In the petitions for a common law writ of habeas corpus the NhRP has filed on behalf of Beulah, Karen, and Minnie with support from world-renowned elephant experts, the NhRP argues the elephants are legal persons with the fundamental right to liberty. For over two years, the NhRP has been fighting in court and alongside local activists to free Minnie, a 48-year-old wild-born Asian elephant, to one of the two accredited elephant sanctuaries in the US, both of which have offered her lifelong care at no cost to the Commerford Zoo. About the Nonhuman Rights ProjectThe Nonhuman Rights Project is the only civil rights organization in the United States working through litigation, legislation, and education to secure fundamental rights for nonhuman animals. She was often on … The USDA has cited the Commerford Zoo over 50 times for failing to adhere to the minimum standards required by the Animal Welfare Act. For images of and articles about her published over the course of her life in captivity, visit this page. (She had been kept alone in … Adopt Your Favorite Animal. Following the death of Beulah the Asian elephant, Sergeant is the largest animal attraction at the Commerford petting zoo. Beulah was owned by R.W. Commerford Zoo. Sign up today for your free Reader Account. In turn Minnie would be irreparably harmed by losing her only opportunity to be freed of her long and lonely imprisonment and sent to either The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee or the Performing Animal Welfare Society near Sacramento, California, where she would be able to live out her years in a place that respects her autonomy, her complex cognitive abilities, and her complex social and psychological needs.". Nonhuman Rights Project Urges Local, State, and Federal Agencies to Intervene, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (TES). Commerford has received numerous violations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the care of their animals. As the NhRP writes, "Minnie’s removal from Connecticut would strip this Court of its jurisdiction to grant Plaintiff’s Petition for Certification and consider the merits of Plaintiff’s appeal. Old noisy rides and games crammed into the DCU center along with many animals that clearly weren't being treated properly. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) after Beulah collapsed in public at the Big E fair, Beulah died as a result of blood poisoning caused by a uterine infection the Commerford Zoo was aware she had when they transported her to the Big E. Karen died of kidney disease. Hearing held Monday regarding Commerford Zoo elephants 2 years ago Animal rights advocates are fighting to free three elephants from a traveling circus based in Goshen. The rights project had said Beulah and the other elephants … The NhRP has repeatedly offered to drop its litigation against the Commerford Zoo—originally brought on behalf of Minnie and two elephants, Beulah and Karen… Tim Commerford, owner of the Commerford Zoo, tells Brulliard of the Post that the elephants are well cared for, and that it is “not right to rip them from my family, from their home.” Bristol Zoo (United Kingdom) 2002: Euthanized the lone 42-year-old female elephant, Wendy, after years of suffering from arthritis. Earlier this month, the Appellate Court denied en banc review of its decision, which, as the NhRP maintains, wrongly asserted that the elephants are not legal persons. To learn more about Beulah, Karen, and Minnie’s lives and the NhRP’s litigation on their behalf, visit this page. Our kids fun fairs, held year-round up and down the east coast, are a fun, friendly, and safe place to bring your family! © 2020 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved. That same day, a member of the group Connecticut Residents Seeking Sanctuary for the Commerford Animals—a signatory to the NhRP’s letter—photographed Beulah lying motionless on her side in a parking lot on a patch of grass barely larger than her body as a handler sat nearby. Beulah, also known as Beulah Mae, was an Asian elephant who was born in the wild in Myanmar in 1967 and imported to the US sometime between 1969 and 1973. Kalina, 8, died just one week after 6-year-old Nyah, also an African elephant, died of … A case was brought on behalf of three elephants, Beula, Karen and Minnie, who are used for exhibition, performances and rides at the Commerford Zoo in Connecticut. While marijuana arrests are certainly down in Chicago, questions have arisen about whether a new ban on using soon-to-be legal marijuana in public housing ends up being a continuation of old drug war policies in the communities already hit the hardest. Minnie is a wild-born elephant who has been held captive and exploited for over three decades under threat of a bullhook by a traveling circus called the Commerford Zoo. A Brookfield Zoo membership comes with plenty of perks, from free admission and parking to discounts on selected attractions inside the zoo and so much more. On Sept. 15, 2019, Beulah collapsed and died from a reported heart attack at the Big E in West Springfield, MA, where the Commerford Zoo had transported her to serve as entertainment. Tim Commerford, owner of the traveling zoo, said the 54-year-old elephant died of a massive heart attack. Closed the elephant exhibit at its 350-acre Wiltshire site and relocated five African elephants to the Zoo Parc de Beauval in France. The elephant also became the fourth zoo elephant to die in the U.S. within a month, regardless of cause. To download the above image of Minnie, visit this page (credit: Gigi Glendinning). To learn more about Minnie, the Commerford Zoo, and the NhRP’s elephant rights litigation on her behalf, visit this page. Brookfield, IL —Elephants are trampling along in Lyons right now as the Kelly Miller Circus has arrived in Smith Park. Or maybe the western lowland gorillas or bottlenose dolphins are your favorites. Are you a big a fan of Leo red panda? Beulah traveled with the Connecticut-based R.W. Karen died over six months ago after not having been seen in public since last summer. SHAMELESS: Commerford Zoo’s GoFundMe campaign claims they can’t afford care for Minnie the elephant Last updated Jul 30, 2020 The Commerford Zoo is in dire financial straights. HARTFORD, Conn. (CN) — An activist group fighting to free three elephants from a Connecticut petting zoo urged an appeals court Monday to revive their case. Founded by Robert W. Commerford over 40 years ago, we here at the Commerford Zoo love bringing our animals and rides out to meet you! Tickets cost $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 2 through 11. Zoo owner Tim Commerford said the elephants are “ part of our family ”. The Appellate Court's decision also directly conflicts with controlling Connecticut Supreme Court precedent. Commerford … To download a photo of Minnie for use in media coverage, visit this page and credit Gigi Glendinning. The event was dirty to say the least. The NhRP says it will continue to fight for as long as it takes for Minnie’s release to a sanctuary where her right to liberty will be respected. She has been without the companionship of another elephant since Karen and Beulah died in 2019. With the recent death of the NhRP’s elephant client Beulah at Massachusetts’ Big E fair and confirmation from the USDA that the NhRP’s other elephant client Karen died in March, Minnie is now the NhRP’s sole surviving elephant client held captive and exploited by the Commerford Zoo, which the USDA has cited over 50 times for failing to adhere to the minimum standards required by the Animal Welfare Act. Commerford & Sons and/or the Kids Fun Fair & Zoo) owns an elephant, camels, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, pygmy horses, ringtail lemurs, macaws, a kangaroo, a zebra, and an African Grey parrot, among other animals. The NhRP has also filed papers in the Connecticut Supreme Court asking it to hear the NhRP’s appeal of an Appellate Court decision issued in August in Minnie’s case and to grant a temporary injunction preventing her owner, the Goshen-based Commerford Zoo, from moving her out of state. By Robert Storace | … Karen the elephant died of kidney disease. The elephants held captive and exploited with her, Beulah and Karen, died in September and March of 2019 respectively. Animal Adoption. The Nonhuman Rights Project has become deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our clients Beulah, Karen, and Minnie, three elephants imprisoned and exploited by a Connecticut-based traveling circus called the Commerford Zoo. In the underlying case, the Non-Human Rights Project is challenging the captivity of the elephants Beulah, Karen and Minnie at the Commerford Zoo. The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) is also requesting a temporary injunction to prevent the Commerford Zoo from moving the NhRP's elephant client Minnie out of state. For the NhRP's campaign video about Minnie, visit this page. In the last 24 hours, PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Humane Society of the United States have all released statements, all calling for the end of traveling zoos like the R.W. Beulah, Karen, and Minnie are three wild-born elephants who have been held captive and exploited for over three decades by a traveling circus called the Commerford Zoo. In its request for permission to appeal, the NhRP argues the Supreme Court should accept the case for further review because Minnie’s case is of fundamental public importance as it concerns “whether an autonomous, self-determining, and otherwise exceedingly cognitively complex being … can legally be imprisoned for life, whether a third party may employ The Great Writ of Habeas Corpus to test the legality of her imprisonment, and what meaning liberty and equality have in such cases." The Commerford Zoo has ignored these offers. Goshen, CT, July 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today the Nonhuman Rights Project sent letters to local, state, and federal agencies urging them to immediately investigate what a Goshen-based traveling circus has publicly acknowledged is its inability to provide basic care to the elephant in its custody as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns. It is abhorrent for them not to do so immediately.”. What’s the basis for the legal challenge? Commerford & Sons and/or the Kids Fun Fair & Zoo) owns an elephant, camels, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, pygmy horses, ringtail lemurs, macaws, a kangaroo, a … Hartford, CT, Sept. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today the Nonhuman Rights Project and twelve other organizations sent a letter to Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, urging his office to take action to help free an elephant named Minnie—the NhRP’s client in ongoing elephant rights litigation—from a traveling circus to an elephant sanctuary. “For their sake and the sake of the many animals at their facility, they need to let Minnie go to a sanctuary. Founded in Goshen, CT by Robert “Bob” W. Commerford, the Commerford Zoo (also known as R.W. Her cause of death is not yet known. The NhRP is considering its next steps in its elephant rights litigation on Minnie’s behalf after the Connecticut Supreme Court declined to hear her case. Animals-Rights Group Seeks Expedited Court Hearing After Death of Zoo Elephant Beulah, an elephant at the Commerford Zoo in Connecticut, died Sunday. Minnie is the Commerford Zoo’s last remaining elephant, and faces the same fate as Karen and Beulah if USDA regulators do not intercede. Similarly, Karen was born in the wild in 1981 and sold to the Commerford Zoo in 1984. With the authorization of the Commerford Zoo, the GoFundMe page seeks to raise $2.4 million to enable them to meet Minnie’s most basic needs, including food and veterinary care, because COVID-19 has “impoverished the farm that supports them,” which is “in desperate need of support,” according to the fundraiser description. Welcome to Commerford Zoo. The shows, which include dancing dogs, clowns, elephants and tigers, start at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Smith Park. Founded in Goshen, CT by Robert “Bob” W. Commerford, the Commerford Zoo (also known as R.W. 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