The USDA has confiscated Ned, a severely underweight male elephant from circus trainer Lance Ramos, aka Lancelot Kollman. Only the second elephant to have been confiscated by the USDA, Ned was taken from Ramos for failure to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and was placed with The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
Kollmann has a long history of offenses and operated under his father’s USDA license until it was permanently revoked in 2000 after an elephant killed a circus worker. The same elephant suddenly died several days later. When four big cats in Kollman’s care died after deworming medication was administered without veterinary supervision, he was cited by the USDA.[social_buttons]
Additionally, Kollmann has also been cited by the USDA for failure to provide veterinary care to injured animals; causing trauma, harm, and lesions to an improperly restrained jaguar; unsanitary conditions; and failure to provide adequate shelter and clean water. In July 2000, the USDA initially denied a permit to Kollmann, stating, “You were responsible for or participated in violations that resulted in the revocation of [your father's] USDA license.”
Kollman’s history of animal abuse and neglect has prompted PETA to contact Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which currently leases tigers from Kollman. “Animal suffering is rife among trainers who supply animals to circuses, but this trainer’s record of animal mistreatment makes him one of the worst offenders,” says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. “By doing business with Kollmann, Ringling continues to give animal abuse a stamp of approval.” PETA has also encouraged the USDA to pursue criminal charges against Kollmann and to revoke his exhibitor’s license permanently.
As for Ned, he will reside only temporarily in his private facility at The Sanctuary. “We are working closely with other professionals to ensure that as soon as Ned’s health improves he can be relocated to his permanent home. Our focus over the next many weeks will be on Ned’s recovery,” stated Carol Buckley, Sanctuary Executive Director. The Elephant Sanctuary has been developed to provide a place for traumatized elephants to recover from the debilitating experience of captivity and is designed specifically for old, sick or needy elephants that have been retired from circuses and zoos.
Melissa Elliott is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her personal blog, TheUrbanHousewife.com, documents her culinary adventures from her kitchen to vegan food around the world. When she's not glued to her computer or on the road, she loves to spend time with her husband, Ryan, cats Beamish & Scurvy, and beloved chihuahua, Strummer.