I've gotten a few questions about elephant rides at the MD Renn Fest, but unfortunately, I can't offer much help. I know that at one point, there were elephants to ride. There is still the elephant area with a sign that says it's something like $5 per ride, but there were no elephants this year on any of the weekends we attended the faire. The very last day of the festival, there was a lone protestor standing outside the entrance handing out information about elephant safety and she urged us to tell the manager if we felt the same way that she did about elephant rides being cruel.
I did ask on the official "Friends of the Maryland Renaissance Festival" web group about this, and a few of the respondents said that the MDRF DOES still have elephant rides. Again, I didn't see the elephants while we were there any weekend this year, so I'm not sure what the schedule is like or if this is something they're phasing out.