Mary Chipperfield convicted of cruelty

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1999:

trainer Mary Cawley Chipperfield, 61,
and her husband Roger Cawley were on
January 26, 1999 convicted, respectively,
of 12 counts of cruelty toward a
young chimpanzee named Trudi and a
sick elephant.
One of their staff, Stephen
Gillis, was convicted in November
1998 on related charges for allegedly
beating an elephant with an iron bar,
shovel, broom, and pitchfork.

The incidents were documented
on videotape by Terry Stocker
of Animal Defenders, who worked for
the Chipperfields incognito to gather
evidence, assisted at times by fellow
Animal Defenders member Rachel
White, who posed as his girlfriend.
Stocker’s 625 hours of footage showed
both Chipperfield and Cawley kicking
and beating animals, showed that Trudi
was closely confined in darkness and
isolation for about 14 hours a day, and
showed Mary Chipperfield taunting her
as she took a toy ball away.
Chipperfield and Cawley are
to be sentenced on April 9.
Under British law, they were
allowed to apply for the return of Trudi
and other animals who were held as
evidence, but they relinquished Trudi
to her temporary custodians at the
Monkey World sanctuary in Dorset
after primatologist Jane Goodall,
wildlife filmmaker Sir David
Attenborough, and noted wildlife veterinarian
John Gripper joined more than
150,000 people who opposed the return.
The cruelty convictions are
the first ever against a member of the
Chipperfield clan, who have been performing
in Britain at least since 1683,
when records indicate a forebear entertained
crowds with a dancing bear from
the Pyranees and sold roast ox meat on
the frozen River Thames. A family
split about 40 years ago produced two
separate traveling circuses––Mary
Chipperfield’s Circus, and the Chipperfield
Circus, owned by Chipperfield
Enterprises Ltd.

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