The Elephants will not return to the Fair

Have Trunk Will Travel decides to bow out.

(DEL MAR, CA) MARCH 27, 2014 -   Have Trunk Will Travel, the organization who provided elephants for display, education and rides at the San Diego County Fair, announced today they will not be returning to the 2014 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons/Sav-on. This follows a successful engagement at the 2013 San Diego County Fair, including the San Diego community donating over $5,000 toward Asian Elephant conservation and embracing the "Save A Species - Ride An Elephant" campaign.

For the past 30 years Have Trunk Will Travel has been a part of the San Diego County Fair bringing joy to hundreds of thousands of families and providing an opportunity to see and learn about the plight of the endangered Asian Elephants.  Kari and Gary Johnson of Have Trunk Will Travel informed the 22nd District Agricultural Association of their decision this afternoon, “We were surprised at the news we received from the Johnsons not to return to the Fair this year, but respect their decision,” stated Frederick Schenk, President the 22nd DAA.  “Having the elephants at the Fair has been a valuable tool in educating the public of the plight of the Asian Elephant, which includes the threat of extinction because of the ongoing destruction of their native habitat, slaughter and the deadly herpes virus that kills baby elephants.  Have Truck Will Travel has an unprecedented conservation program, and an exceptional reputation in the industry.  While the presence of the elephants has drawn controversy and criticism from those who oppose elephant rides, this decision will mean that the over 1.5 million visitors to the annual Fair, will no longer have the opportunity to appreciate and experience these magnificent gentle creatures at the Fairgrounds,” added Schenk.

About the Del Mar Fairgrounds
The 22nd District Agricultural Association is a State of California agency that owns and operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Surfside Race Place, Horsepark Equestrian Center and the Del Mar Golf Center. The 22nd DAA produces four events each year: the San Diego County Fair, the Del Mar National Horse Show, Professional Bull Riding (PBR) and The Scream Zone. The Fairgrounds hosts more than 350 events annually, the largest of which is the live horse racing meet each summer and fall, which is operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for the 22nd DAA and the State of California. For more information on the Del Mar Fairgrounds, visit