Summary: Left in the wild, Billie the elephant would have spent her days surrounded by family, free to wander the jungles of Asia. Instead, traders captured her as a baby and shipped her to America, where she learned to carry humans, stand on a tub and balance on one leg – the full repertoire of elephant tricks. For decades, Billie crisscrossed the country, dazzling audiences as she performed breathtaking stunts. But behind the scenes she lived a life of misery: traveling in trucks, chained for hours on end, barely able to move, giving eight-minute performances under harsh lights and to the sounds of blaring music. And worse.Content Notes:
Capturing elephants -- Losing a family ; Tracking the elusive beasts -- Drawn to the big top ; Rounding up the elephants -- Learning the ropes ; Fooling the elephant -- One-legged stands ; Long voyage to America -- The Hawthorn Five ; Seesaws, grass skirts, and water skis -- Life on the road ; Forcing elephants to perform -- Acting out ; Block and tackle and chains -- A sanctuary takes shape ; Coercion, not kindness -- Trouble for Cuneo ; "Bad" elephants -- Space and silence ; Conquering an elephant -- The crackdown begins ; Going rogue -- Mired in bureaucracy ; Hollywood comes calling -- Setbacks in Illinois ; The tale of Baby Boo -- Caravan to freedom ; Big Mary's tragic fate -- The start of a new life ; The short life of Baby Hatch -- The conundrum of zoos ; The plight of Ziggy -- Spotlight on abuse ; A new wave of elephants -- Bad days, good days ; Chains, hooks, and hot shots -- Unchained at last.Notes:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 307-308) and index.