We have investigated for months and have documented to the maximum the conditions of detention to which Gilbert (alias Yeuk) Bauer has kept Baby, an elephant which he has exploited for more than thirty years. We denounce him and his organisation, we want to free her from this life of hell! But to obtain a seizure, and to be able to place her in a sanctuary, justice and the authorities have always asked us for more evidence on what we are demanding. Violations, reports ... nothing ever seems to be enough. So here is the account from a year of diligent investigation, during which we crossed France to follow Baby and her days of confinement. Between the years, we have been monitoring and reporting, tailing her and continued to pursue our undercover work…
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She is forced to obey, under penalty of being beaten with an ankus or even being deprived of a meal… Worse still: she complies obediently, because getting out of the truck, her prison cell, is still her only relief, even if it is only to take a few steps. At least she is able for a few minutes, to feel the fresh air circulating around her numb body … Even if means that you have to perform painful poses under a noisy marquee.
This is what her life and her future will continue to be reduced to if we do nothing. Because we have done the math: Baby spends 96% of the day in the truck during performances, and 100% the other days.
From April to November 2019, when "freedom" rhymes with dungeon
Since our last procedure, we wanted to show as many people as possible the ordeal that is Baby’s life. Two steps from Saint Paul Park, where Kid Bauer also exhibits his feline babies, and from the village where Mario Masson’s ten tigers are kept, Baby has suffered for months.
EIn April, May, August and September, our investigators went to Kid Bauer’s Parc Saint Léger, from where they returned, stunned: alternating between tigers and babies being photographed with the public, Baby is also part of the program for the opening season, at the rate of one hour a day per show, when the park is open. Planned at the end of June 2019 near 1000 km from this park, Baby’s trained act in an ancient festival will be cancelled thanks to the mobilization of animal defenders under the impetus of the Code Animal.
On the park map is the elephant enclosure. On the spot, however, one finds there only waste ground, with a wire as a barrier, badly attached to the trees at the edge of the forest. The pamphlet states that she is walking “free” in the park, where she can be seen after the show. And indeed, after the show, Gilbert Bauer walks for a few minutes, Baby breaks branches by his side, it is the illusion of freedom. It is even possible to approach her; no security barrier is in place. Only the presence of the trainer appears to be enough for the authorities…
For several months, a daily danger!
… then Gilbert removes her from view, the audience disperses. And he makes her leave the park by crossing a national road without any protection, neither for her – she could be overturned by a car or a truck on this busy road located at the exit of a fast lane – neither protection for the motorists who are likely to scare the elephant and put visitors to the park (or themselves) in danger.
Even though Baby moves slowly and her body is thin and emaciated at first sight she seems subdued but she remains a wild animal of several tons and therefore represents a potential danger.
In January of last year, she jostled people in Spain and there were very few people seriously injured. Generally, in this type of an accident, these animals pay for this with their lives.
Days and days in hiding behind the truck
In December, the park closes before the scheduled date and Baby disappears: no trace of the trailer. A phone call tells us the park next year will no longer feature wild animals in their shows. Following repeated comments from customers and “pressure from animal rights groups it appears the park has got the message”. However, at the end of February 2020, the Bauer couple’s truck and caravan are back on site …
Go to Aubevoye, March 11th in an emergency
While we were on the point of proving Baby’s presence on the park, we were contacted urgently on March 11th to go to the Cirque de Paris to determine which elephant was part of the show in Gaillon. Was it Dumba, “rented” several times by this circus? In the ring, no doubt, it’s Baby. She runs around under the gaze of the spectators, oblivious to her misfortune and the danger: many of them take pictures of her during the intermission or follow her after the show to her truck.
For several days in a row, Baby will remain confined to the interior of the truck. And as always, she will only be allowed to walk outside of her tin box once a day to … go to the marquee. Lockdown and submission, same old routine, she’s grown sick of it.