Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Painting with Pachyderms

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the special media event "Painting with Pachyderms". All opinions are my own. 

This week my kids had the amazing opportunity for an up-close encounter with
two of the fantastic elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
and spend the morning on the floor of the circus painting with elephants and clowns.
It was a fantastic experience and one I know they will remember and retell for years to come.

The clowns were there to greet us and JT was so excited to get to see them up close.
He missed having his picture taken with them when we attended the circus last week,
so we jumped at the chance to snap a photo with three of the fun performers.
circus clowns

The adorable Ashley Vargas, Preshow Host and animal presenter, was there
to greet us and get the kids amped up about the rare opportunity they were about to experience. 
She helped them figure out just the right words that would call Baby and Mabel
out from behind the curtain to join us for this pachyderm painting adventure.

Ashley Vargas 

Mabel, an 8-year-old Asian elephant, was the star of the morning and gave the kids
a run for their money with her dexterity at using her trunk to paint a colorful masterpiece.

painting elephant

I think that Mabel did a fantastic job!
And one lucky Preshow attendee might get the chance to win an elephant masterpiece,
just like someone did the night we attended the circus.

After Mabel and Baby, who is not quite a baby at 51-years-old, bid us farewell
and went backstage to get ready for their next show, the kids popped open their
paints and got to work creating masterpieces of their own.
JT decided to paint a dragon snake that was full of color and pizazz.

Isabella opted for a pink elephant with a rainbow motif as she took pointers
from one of the sweet clowns that took time to paint with the kids that morning.

A {HUGE} big top sized THANK YOU to the people (and animals)
at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey for this priceless experience to paint with pachyderms.
elephant conservation
A few things we learned about the second largest land mammal today:
  • There are less than 35,000 Asian elephants left on Earth today and and they have been on the endangered species list for 32 years.
  • Ringling Bros. is dedicated to the care and conservation of the Asian elephant. In 1995 it established the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida for the conservation, breeding, scientific study and retirement of the endangered Asian elephant.
  • Ringling Bros. always has 24/7 care and security for their animals. There is always a veterinarian on-call and ready for the animals in whatever city the show is located.
  • The elephants and trainers have mutual respect for each other through a positive, healthy environment. Positive reinforcement techniques (ie praise, repetition, reward) are the only acceptable and employed elephant training methods.
  • As of this week, 26 Asian elephant calves have been bred and born in captivity at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation.
painting with pachyderms

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Built to Amaze is at the Anaheim Honda Center
through August 4th. For more information visit their website - Ringling Bros.


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