Convicted Animal Abuser uses elephants for rides at Maryland Renaissance Festival (8-25-14)

The owner of the animals, Frank Murray, is a convicted animal abuser that not only evaded arrest for 16 years, but posted bail and is still providing services to the MD Renaissance Festival. The owner of the festival, Mr. Jules Smith, has repeatedly hung up on others when asking for the discontinued use of elephants as a ride.

The elephants are forced to stand for up to 10 hours a day, surrounded by throngs of people, and forced to give rides to patrons all day long for months at a time. Frank Murray uses whips, chains, and bullhooks in order to subdue them into performing and not acting out, when in reality, these are incredibly intelligent creatures who also have a history of violence when treated in an extreme manner.

The two elephants at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, Topsy and Annette, are owned by Frank Murray under the company name “Elephant Walk.” Murray has been bringing them around a circuit of fairs and circuses for several years. He was arrested in New Jersey in 2011 on an outstanding warrant related to animal cruelty charges. He has also been cited by the USDA for his animal care, but they have failed to follow up with the appropriate enforcement.


Incident ID # 200116



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