From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:

Elephant trainers Robert
“Smokey” Jones, Scott Riddle, and Heidi
Riddle raised eyebrows on December 22 by
announcing “A hands-on course in the humane
training and handling of captive elephants,” to
be taught at Riddle’s Elephant Breeding Farm
and Wildlife Sanctuary near Greenbriar,
Arkansas. A string of unusual elephant deaths
under Scott Riddle’s supervision over the past
15 years have brought repeated allegations of
mishandling, including two deaths resulting
from conflicts between elephants at the Los
Angeles Zoo in the early 1980s and one
ascribed to a stress-induced heart attack in
1986 at the Garden City Zoo in Garden City,
Kansas. Zoo officials in the latter case asked
the Kansas state police and the USDA to inves-
tigate the possibility that the heart attack was
brought on by an overdose of electric shock, as
at age 23 the elephant was still young, and had
been believed to be healthy. Riddle was
attempting to buy her for transport to a breed-
ing colony he wanted to start in Florida.

He founded his present facility in 1989, after the
Florida venture fell through. Despite the years
of rumor and innuendo, Riddle has never been
charged with any violation of USDA rules in
connection with the deaths.
The Florida legislature is to decide
in March what to do about the 200 to 300
feral rhesus monkeys who live on islands in
the Silver River, near the town of Silver
Springs, where their ancestors were released to
become a tourist attraction in 1938. Some of
the monkeys carry the simian herpes B virus,
which is related to the AIDS virus and is trans-
missible to humans.
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.