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Breaking News from The Ringling Trial

Trial Transcripts

Please find a summary of who testified and a brief description of his or her testimony based on the publicly filed pre-trial statements of plaintiffs. In addition, you will find a list of who testified for the defendants. Below each summary you'll find a link to the transcript(s) PDF of each day.

Day 1: February 4, 2009

Opening Statements were made.

Dr. Joyce Poole testified regarding: "Background on Asian elephants; Basic elephant physiology and biology; Elephant reproductive behavior; Elephant ecology; Elephant socialization and behavior; Expert opinions regarding the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions regarding the chaining and confinement of the elephants; Opinions about the conservation of elephants; Opinions based on Court-ordered inspection of elephants; Narration of Bedi Films, "Elephant Lord of the Jungle," distributed by U.K. PolyGram Video Ltd., 1987; All subjects covered in her Expert Report and during her deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 2: February 5, 2009

Joyce Poole continued her testimony.

Archele Hundley, a former Ringling Bros. employee testified regarding: "Eye-witness testimony of Ringling Bros treatment of elephants during summer of 2006, including use of the bull hook and the chaining and confinement of the elephants."

Robert Tom, former Ringling Bros. employee testified regarding: "Eye-witness testimony of Ringling Bros treatment of the elephants between 2004-2006, including use of the bull hook and the chaining and confinement of the elephants."

Lynette Williams testified regarding: "an inspection by the Santa Clara Valley Humane Society in San Jose California in 1999; Testimony concerning a 2001 incident involving the striking of an elephant named Asia."

Transcripts:

Day 3: February 6, 2009

Lynette Williams continued her testimony.

Transcript:

Day 4: February 9, 2009

Louis Gedo testified: "To authenticate video evidence contained in PL 08972."

Patrick Cuviello testified regarding: "Eye-witness testimony of Ringling Bros. treatment of elephants from 1989-2008, including use of the bull hook and chaining and confinement of the elephants; Authentication of videotapes."

Transcripts:

Day 5: February 10, 2009

Michelle Sinnott testified: "To explain the compilation of the data contained in the Transportation Orders produced by defendant."

Dr. Benjamin Hart, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus at the School of Veterinary Medicine University of California, Davis, testified regarding: "Background on elephants; Expert opinions on the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions on chaining and confinement of the elephants; Conservation of wild elephants; All subjects covered in his Expert Report and during his deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 6: February 11, 2009

Dr. Ros Clubb, Ph.D. testified regarding: "Background on elephant behavior and training; Expert opinions on stereotypic and other abnormal behaviors in elephants; Expert opinions on the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions on chaining and confinement of the elephants; All subjects covered in her Expert Report and during her deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 7: February 12, 2009

Tom Rider, former Ringling Bros. employee 1997-1999, testified regarding: "Eye-witness testimony regarding the use of the bull hook and other instruments on the elephants; Eye-witness testimony regarding the chaining and confinement of the elephants; Eye-witness testimony regarding the treatment of the elephants from 2000-2008; Testimony regarding his standing and advocacy on behalf of elephants."

Transcripts:

Day 8: February 17, 2009

Tom Rider continued his testimony.

Gail Laule, Active Environments, Inc, testified regarding: "The basics of elephant training; Free contact management of captive elephants; Protected contact management of captive elephants; Asian elephant biology and physiology; Expert opinions on the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions on chaining and confinement of the elephants; Expert opinions regarding the ramifications of free contact training; All subjects covered in her Expert Report and during her deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 9: February 18, 2009

Gail Laule continued her testimony.

Colleen Kinzley , General Curator at the Oakland Zoo, testified regarding: "Overview of elephant physiology and behavior; Expert opinions on the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions on chaining and confinement of the elephants; Expert opinions based on attending Court-ordered inspection of the elephants; Explanation of the U.S. captive elephant industry and conservation of elephants; Review of photographs in connection with Santa Clara Valley Humane Society Inspection; All subjects covered in her Expert Report and during her deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 10: February 19, 2009

Colleen Kinzley continued her testimony.

Nicole Paquette, Senior VP and General Counsel at Born Free USA united with API, testified regarding: "Testimony regarding the standing of API, including legislative activities; and changes in the captive elephant industry."

Transcripts:

Day 11: February 23, 2009

Carol Buckley from The Elephant Sanctuary testified regarding: "Background on elephants; Expert opinions on the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions on chaining and confinement of the elephants; Expert opinions based on knowledge of elephant trainers and former work and experience in the circus industry; Expert opinions based on attending Court-ordered inspections of the elephants; All subjects covered in her Expert Report and during her deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 12: February 24, 2009

Dr. Phillip Ensley, D.V.M. testified regarding: "Expert Opinion based on a review of the medical records of the FEI elephants; Expert Opinions based on Court-ordered inspections of elephants; Expert opinions regarding the use of bull hooks and other instruments on elephants; Expert opinions regarding the chaining and confinement of the elephants; All subjects covered in his Expert Report and during his deposition."

Transcripts:

Day 13: February 26, 2009

Argument on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Case was heard. Motion was denied.

Transcripts:

Day 14: March 3, 2009

Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, testified.

Transcript:

Day 15: March 4, 2009

Dan Raffo, animal handler for Ringling Bros., testified.

Kari Johnson, owner Have Trunk Will Travel, Incorporated, testified.

Gary Johnson, owner Have Trunk Will Travel, Incorporated, testified.

Transcripts:

Day 16: March 5, 2009

Gary Johnson continued his testimony.

Kari Johnson continued her testimony.

Carrie Coleman, bird handler and trainer for Natural Encounters (previously veterinary technician on the Red Unit of Ringling Bros.), testified.

Gary Jacobson, general manager for Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, testified.

Transcripts:

Day 17: March 9, 2009

Gary Jacobson continued his testimony.

Ted Friend, professor at Texas A & M University, testified.

Transcripts:

Day 18: March 10, 2009

Lisa Weisberg, special legal consultant for the ASPCA, testified pursuant to a subpoena.

Michael Markarian, president of Fund for Animals, testified pursuant to a subpoena.

Transcripts:

Day 19: March 11, 2009

Cathy Liss, president of Animal Welfare Institute, testified pursuant to a subpoena.

Jerome Sowalsky, executive vice president and general counsel of Feld Entertainment, testified.

Transcripts:

Day 20: March 12, 2009

Brian French, senior elephant handler for the Blue Unit of Ringling Bros., testified.

Mike Keele, deputy director of living collections for the Oregon Zoo, testified.

Troy Metzler, employee of Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, testified.

Transcripts:

Day 21: March 13, 2009

Dennis Schmitt, chair of veterinary care and director of research and conservation for Ringling Bros., testified.

Transcripts:

Day 22: March 16, 2009

Dennis Schmitt continued his testimony.

Transcripts:

Day 23: March 18, 2009

Closing Arguments.

Should you have any questions about our case, feel free to email us at legislation@bornfreeusa.org.

Further filings from the court can be found on the District Court's website through PACER (https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl).


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