USDA puts Hawthorn Corp. out of the elephant business–Clyde-Beatty Cole Bros. quits, too
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2004:
RICHMOND, Illinois–Hawthorn Corporation owner John F. Cuneo
Jr., 73, on March 7, 2004 agreed to a 19-point consent decree in
settlement of 47 Animal Welfare Act charges that requires him to
divest of his remaining 16 elephants and have them removed from his
property near Richmond, Illinois by August 15. Cuneo is also to pay
a civil penalty of $200,000.
The consent decree, finalized on March 15, marks the first
time that the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service has
ordered a circus to cease exhibiting elephants.
Hawthorn Corporation will be allowed to keep 60 white tigers,
27 conventionally colored tigers, and an African lion.
None of the elephants’ destinations have been determined.
Dehi, 57, whom the USDA removed from the Hawthorn premises in
November 2003, was sent to the Elephant Sanctuary at Hohenwald,
Tennessee. A 200-acre facility with seven Asian elephants and three
African elephants at present, the Elephant Sanctuary plans to expand
up to 2,700 acres soon, divided between Asian and African elephant
The most recent arrival, in March 2004, is Flora, the
17-year star performer of the single-elephant Circus Flora, for whom
circus owner David Balding tried unsuccessfully to found the Ahali
Sanctuary in South Carolina.