New York: PETA has come up with a new campaign to help educate kids about elephants and captivity: a life-sized mechanical elephant named Ellie voiced by Priyanka Chopra, the star of fall’s smash-hit new show Quantico.
Schoolchildren will now have the chance to learn about and get up close and personal with an ex-captive elephant.
The animal rights organization is taking Ellie on the road for a school tour that will take her all over the U.S., Europe, and even India. Ellie will talk to young people about her separation from her mother as a baby, the physical punishment she endured in the circus, and, finally, her happy life at a sanctuary after her rescue.
Priyanka Chopra describes elephants as “magnificent creatures, who desperately need our help and protection.” She adds: “Ellie and I are teaching kids that elephants belong in the wild with their families and that they suffer greatly in captivity, in which they’re kept chained, forced to learn tricks, and deprived of all the things that make them happy, like family and freedom.”
“I couldn’t be more proud to join PETA in bringing Ellie’s story to life for children everywhere, with the hope of instilling the idea of compassion and kindness for living creatures of all kinds.”
Elementary school students are already responding with rave reviews and questions about circus life for elephants. One student at Horace Mann Elementary in Oakland, California, asked, “Why don’t circuses just use robots instead?” And a student at Prairie Elementary in Sacramento, California, shouted, “It’s a miracle!” after watching Ellie move.