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This 5-Year-Old Will Change the Way Everyone Thinks About the Circus (Video)

Written by Michelle Kretzer | May 15, 2014

She may be just 5 years old, but that’s not stopping Pittsburgh-area kindergartener Karina from working to help animals as if she were Ingrid E. Newkirk.

Karina and her drawing of elephants in Circuses

Sharp as a tack and raised by her compassionate mom, Natalie, Karina always welcomed learning about animal rights and attending demonstrations. But she was still appalled by what she witnessed while protesting the Shrine circus’ show in Pittsburgh in April.

Elephant handlers like to keep their abusive methods under wraps. But from a vantage point in a nearby parking garage, Natalie and Karina could clearly see trainers striking elephants with sharp metal-tipped bullhooks as they drove them into and out of the performance arena. Natalie’s friend Liz, who organized the protest, was able to capture video footage of the abuse.

Back at school, Karina wanted to tell everyone what she had witnessed. She knew that once her classmates heard about how circuses abuse animals, they would never again ask to go. But school authorities stopped her and told her not to upset the other kids.

Karina draws elephants

But fate didn’t intend for Karina to be silenced.

Natalie and her friend sent PETA the video and photos they had taken. And when we heard about little Karina, we knew that she would be the perfect spokesperson for our circus campaign. She happily jumped onboard.

Here is her first animal rights video (likely the first of many):

PETA Kids presented Karina with a Hero for Elephants Award. And we used the evidence that Natalie and her friend gathered to file a complaint against Carson & Barnes, the exhibitor that supplied elephants to the Shrine circus, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Do you know extraordinary kids who care about animals? Help them make a difference by requesting a free copy of our Kids’ Guide to Helping Animals today.

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  • Well done, the world needs more brave, kind-hearted young girls like this. Some parents and teachers are so disgracefully hypocrite. They choose to keep true suffering under wraps, with the excuse that ‘nobody should get upset’. Also the parents who take their kids to the amusement parks: anything to have a good time. They should rather take their children to these parks of incredible suffering to point out to their children how barbarically the animals are turned into puppets of human desire, and then make their children promise to never tolerate this in later life. As it is, most parents take their children there to have a good time, entertainment themselves, at the expense of the animals. That is nothing short of barbarism disguised as ‘a day of good fun’. It makes me sick.

  • Alicia says:

    You are an awesome little girl!! You have already made a difference for the animals;)

  • eva church says:

    It pulls at my heart and soul ti see this abuse continue over and over. This majestic and sweet animal, if it only knew that it could take down these abusive and evil people, but they dont. They are so gentle and scared. This is the purest firm if evil. They will be judged by GOD. I hope the abuse of all Gods creatures come to a end.

  • lorna parenteau says:

    You wonderful, wonderful young lady, you are one of many bright future animal rights go girl, God bless you and your family.

  • Sammy says:

    Seriously crying right now… this little girl is so right!! Wish everyone would stop buying tickets to such a horrible place.

  • Gabriela Klacansky says:

    What a gorgeous bright young lady! I am so happy to see this. Thank you also to her parents, thank god for some good DNA!! You go kid!!!

  • This is terrible… Like i already knew it but seeing how they are getting so abd as to get the attention of children is just heart breaking

  • School people who did not let her speak to the other children thus stood on side of circus animal abusers : I would NOT trust my child to such people because they lack moral values and sensitivity to others’ sufferings. Exactly the opposite of what people in charge of young children need to be. Disgusting.