Understanding The “Bull Hook.”

From someone who actually works with elephants.

Hi, I’m Dr. Dennis Schmitt.

Elephant care and conservation has been my life’s passion for over 30 years. I’ve worked with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation since 1997.

Via Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

Asian Elephants are one of the world’s most endangered species. They are also the size of a delivery truck at almost 10,000 pounds. Here’s the bull hook compared (to scale) to an elephant:

Via Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

The bull hook is a type of guide, just like spurs are used for horses.

Via iStock

Or how a leash is used on dogs.

Via iStock

These guides are used as safety tools for teaching, building and directing these amazing animals.

Did I mention the bull hook is the only tool for elephant handling approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Zoological Association of America and the USDA? It’s also the same tool used in most zoos, animal parks and Hollywood film sets.

Now, let me introduce you to Mike. He’s not quite sure what to make of this ball he’s playing with.

Via Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

But isn’t he adorable?

Mike lives at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC), dedicated to the care and preservation of the Asian Elephant.

Oh, and here’s his buddy Barack.

Via Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

At the CEC, scientists and veterinarians are able to conduct groundbreaking research on elephant reproduction, disease prevention and cures (shared with the rest of the world, of course) because they are able to work so closely with little guys like Mike and Barack

Via Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

Ringling Bros. also supports the Elephant Transit Home, an orphanage for abandoned and injured elephants in Sri Lanka that re-introduces endangered elephants into the wild.

Via Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

Thanks for taking a moment to learn the facts.

Myself and the rest of the team at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation have dedicated ourselves to the care and preservation of these animals.

Can you imagine a world without elephants?

Not if we can help it. To learn more visit www.elephantcenter.com.

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