USDA Urged to Take Enforcement Action in Connection with Oklahoma Elephant Attack

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) a request for enforcement action under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) against the Endangered Ark Foundation, an Oklahoma elephant breeding and training facility, and related entities in connection with a March, 2021 elephant attack that left a woman disabled and disfigured after surviving life-threatening injuries. The request claims that Endangered Ark leases the elephants and exhibits them under Carson & Barnes Circus' USDA license, listing a long history of the companies’ AWA violations. Dana Garber, O.D., the woman attacked at the elephant facility, had been participating in an elephant encounter that she purchased through Oklahoma Awesome Adventures. Dr. Garber filed a negligence lawsuit against the circus and its affiliates in 2021, that is still pending in state court in Oklahoma County. PETA’s 2022 complaint urges the USDA to take enforcement action against the various companies for continuing to offer public encounters with dangerous wild animals and for failing to report the serious incident to the federal agency as their USDA licensure requires.