Hampden County

Shrine Circus elephants enjoy pampering before start of show

The 8,000 pound Lisa needs about 15 minutes for a good scrubbing

Sy Becker - WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Shrine Circus elephants were primped and pampered Wednesday for the start of their four day engagement at the Big E Coliseum.

Chief Handler Armando Loyal insists that there nothing 33-year-old Lisa enjoys more than a good bath. The 8,000 pound pachyderm needs about 15 minutes for a good scrubbing, which according to Loyal, does Lisa a world of good.

Loyal told 22News that he's bothered by talk of circus elephants being mistreated. He said, "I've dedicated my life to these guys, and I'm not going to speak for any other person but myself and what I do. They come first, before most things in my life. My wife knew that before she married me. Because I was with them first."

Loyal promised that when Lisa and his two other circus elephants grow too old to perform, they'll enjoy their retirement years at his ranch in Oklahoma.

Related: Bill would bar elephant acts from traveling circuses

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