RENE CASSELLY JR: They’re like my family
and my pet as well. I grew up with them, I don’t know anything else, they’re like
my brother and my sisters. RENE CASSELLY JR: I like to go in the pools with the elephants, swimming together with
them; I have like really close relationship with them and also think that’s what allowed
me to do the stunts what I do. RENE CASSELLY JR: My act with the elephants is like a unique act. I’m the only one in
the world doing the combination between tumbling and working together with elephants. COMM: 20-year-old Rene Casselly Jr. is a 7th
generation animal trainer and has grown up with his five African elephants. Currently,
in his fourth year performing for the National Hungarian Circus, he insists that his elephants
aren’t made to do anything they don’t want to do. RENE CASSELLY JR: Elephants are really smart
beings and they learn really fast. You have to see the talent what the elephant has already
when he is young. You can’t teach him anything that he doesn’t really have the initial
talent for. COMM: Online videos of his acrobatic tricks with the elephants have garnered both admiration
and criticism. Rene explains how he has trained his animals. RENE CASSELLY JR: The only thing you can get
elephant with is food. You know, they need a lot of food. They love to eat. There are
bananas, apples, watermelons, strawberries, everything. When the elephant once knows what
to do, then he likes to do it. Because then he knows, oh if I do this right, I get more
food. So, this is the only way to do it. RENE CASSELLY JR: I don’t do any negative enforcement. The only thing I do is natural
treatments. You can see that my elephants are happy, they are calm, they’re not forced
to do anything and I think that’s also the best way to do it and it should be the only
way to do it. COMM: Rene claims that the conditions for the elephants are paramount, when it comes
to choosing the circuses, he would work for. RENE CASSELLY JR: Like this is how it’s always is and it’s also how it should be.
I mean, it shouldn’t be on a stone place or an asphalt place; that’s not how you
treat an elephant. Every circus place, every circus ground we have is like this: with the
grass and with the trees and it’s also how it should be. Every circus who hires elephants
or animals like us, they know that they can’t hire them if it doesn’t give you the good
treatments and the good places. RENE CASSELLY JR: Of course, there is always positive reactions and negative reactions.
But negative reactions is because I think the people doesn’t know really how the people
are treating. I mean here, there is nothing negative to say, there is just positive I
mean the elephants are happy; they have the mud bath, they have everything they need and
that’s what we’re trying to show us to people is that animals and elephants can have
a good life in a circus too. RENE CASSELLY JR: I shower every elephant with a water pipe and a brush and the shampoo
and yeah, and after that they are here on the fields all day. RENE CASSELLY JR: If we have a show then five
minutes before the show, I take them to the circus, they do a little routine for six
minutes and then they come back to the fields. They’re loose all day, all night; doesn’t
need to tie them or anything.