The documentary aims to open viewers' eyes to the habitually abusive conditions to which elephants are subjected in circuses and zoos. Experts build a case against circus and zoo programs as a whole, naming only one (The Oakland Zoo) that has changed its tactics in favor of humane conditions for the animals. They also encourage viewers not to support these causes until the animals' living conditions change. The information is one-sided, but the video and photographic evidence support the experts' claims of longtime abuse of captive elephants. The content also touches on conservation, poaching, and the ecology of the elephants' natural habitats.
Animal experts and activists are passionate and learned about the issues they support, and their devotion to the cause is inspiring. In some cases, people have dedicated their lives to the tedious work of rehabilitating abused elephants.
Graphic footage of animal abuse. Elephants are chained, pulled by ropes, beaten with sticks, prodded, and intimidated into compliance by trainers. Some deaths are shown, by shooting and, in one case, by electrocution. Other video clips show elephants turning on people, trampling and knocking them to the ground. Animal carcasses are sprawled on the ground, and poachers prepare to dismember them and harvest their tusks for sale.
One use of "damn."
Two humane projects -- The Oakland Zoo and the Performing Animal Welfare Society -- get a lot of publicity from this movie.