USDA Confiscates Ned
An Animal Rights Article from


The Elephant Sanctuary
November 2008

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Confiscates Emaciated Elephant: Now in route to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

The USDA has confiscated Ned, a severely underweight 21-year-old captive born, male elephant from Florida-based circus trainer Lance Ramos, aka Lancelot Kollman.

On Saturday, November 8, Ned was confiscated from Ramos by the USDA for failure to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and was placed by USDA authority with The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Two veteran elephant handlers were secured by the agency to ensure that Ned was safely loaded into the transport trailer supplied by The Elephant Sanctuary. Scott Blais, Sanctuary co-founder, will accompany Ned on the 775 mile journey. They are scheduled to arrive at The Elephant Sanctuary midday Sunday, November 9th.

Ned is the second elephant ever to be confiscated by the USDA. The first was Delhi, an ailing elephant owned by the Hawthorn Corporation and sent to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in 2003.

Ned will reside only temporarily in his private facility at The Sanctuary. ďWe are working closely with other professionals to ensure that as soon as Nedís health improves he can be relocated to his permanent home. Our focus over the next many weeks will be on Nedís recovery,Ē stated Carol Buckley, Sanctuary Executive Director.

An Asian elephant in Thailand

Ned was born October 10, 1987 in Tampa, Florida, one of the few elephants born in captivity to survive into adulthood. Ned is a first generation captive-born Asian elephant. His parents, Josie and Vance, both wild caught in Southeast Asia as babies, were the property of elephant trainer and circus performer, Roman Schmitt. At the time of Nedís birth Mr. Schmitt was manager of the Busch Gardensí elephant breeding program. At the age of two, Ned was sold to a circus elephant trainer named Buckles Woodcock and later performed in the Big Apple Circus. Sometime after the Big Apple Circus removed elephants from their line-up, Mr. Woodcock transferred Ned to Lance Ramos, another circus trainer and performer. Recently, it was reported that Lance Ramos and Ned were performing in California with the Royal Hannaford traveling circus.

An elephant and her baby

Operating on 2,700 acres in Hohenwald, Tennessee, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee  has been developed specifically to provide a place for traumatized elephants to recover from the debilitating experience of captivity. The nonprofit organization, accredited by The Association of Sanctuaries and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, is designed specifically for old, sick or needy elephants that have been retired from zoos and circuses.

For more information, visit The Elephant Sanctuary, see The Elecam and All-Creatures Animal Exploitation Photo Gallery to see how captive elephants are treated.

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