A circus worker has been sacked after a video showing him hitting an elephant several times with a stick was broadcast on Facebook.
The German company, Circus Renz, was in the town of Wilnis, south of Amstelveen, when passersby saw the elephant being beaten. The man also shouted at his audience to stop filming.
One eyewitness, Monique Kemper, told the Telegraaf the animal was not being abused.
‘It seemed a hard thump on the film but it was not in real life,’ she said. ‘I feel sorry for the worker because I had asked him a question and he became distracted. That is why he had to correct the elephant.’
However, a spokeswoman for the Circus Renz International, which is based in Berlin, told the paper that this is no way to treat animals. ‘The man had only been with us for 14 days and has been sacked on the spot.’
The circus has owned the elephant for 30 years.
From September, circuses will no longer be able to use wild animals in their acts in the Netherlands.
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