This footage is form 1903, but not much has changed for circus elephants in the last 100+ years ... check out this info on the February/March 2009 trial of Ringling Bros. circus for its mistreatment of endangered Asian elephants http://www.api4animals.org/facts.php?...
Also, be sure to watch All India Radio's video "Persist" about Topsy. here's more:
On a dreary January morning in 1903, a crowd estimated at some 1,500 gathered in the off-season quiet of Coney Island to witness what The New York Times termed "a rather inglorious affair."
Topsy, a six-ton, 10-foot-tall female Indian elephant in a circus, had recently developed a bad temper, killing three circus workers in as many years. Each had in one way or another abused her. After a failed attempt to publicly poison Topsy by feeding her cyanide-laced carrots, and flawed plans to have her hanged, officials decided instead Topsy would be publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison as a publicity stunt.