Commerford Family Zoo

R.W. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo

Far from wholesome family fun, the Commerford Family Zoo has forced elephants with violent histories to perform in direct contact with small children for the past several years at the Long Island Fair.  Additionally, they have a long history of violations of the Animal Welfare Act relating to a variety of species. 

Despite claims of teaching using "positive reinforcement," in February 21, 2007, Bob Commerford testified before a Connecticut state legislative committee in opposition to proposed bill 6599, which sought to eliminate the mistreatment of captive elephants by banning the use of bullhooks, electric prods, and chains. 

An Asian elephant named Minnie, who has appeared at the Long Island Fair, has been involved in at least four dangerous incidents.  In March of 2006, Minnie seriously injured two Commerford employees while giving rides at the Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts. As children were being loaded onto the elephant, she became agitated and suddenly swung her head toward the two employees, shifting her weight and pinning them against the loading ramp. An eyewitness reported that one of the employees had provoked the elephant by striking her in the face. One man sustained an injury to his chest and the other a broken arm. Both were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Two bystanders sustained bruises.

On November 10, 2011, Greenhouse in New York City actually canceled a scheduled appearance of an elephant with Commerford after being provided with information about this exhibitor. Please ask the Long Island Fair to do the same by signing our petition, calling Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano at (516) MANGANO, and emailing the Long Island Fair here

Additional Resources

PETA's R.W. Commerford & Sons Fact Sheet


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