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Photo: Ringling’s Chilly Reception in Atlanta

Written by Michelle Kretzer | February 16, 2012

Ringling Bros. might have gotten a reprieve from the bullhook ban in Fulton County, Georgia (claiming it can’t have elephants without the weapons), for the moment, but The Cruelest Show on Earth couldn’t escape the throngs of people who showed up to protest on its opening day.

Armed with a bullhorn, posters, leaflets, a flat-screen TV that showed a video of trainers as they beat elephants with bullhooks, giant inflatable pachyderms, and large, eye-catching pictures of “elephant training,” the protesters drew quite a crowd.

The circus … not so much. Word from inside was that it didn’t look like many people had bought tickets.


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  • Dawn Gough says:

    In England circuses still thrive without animals being used> Its banned in the UK and should be banned the world over! It sickens me to watch.I remember watching lions as a little girl of 5 or 6 in a circus and crying because the guy was whipping the poor frightened animal. Its outragious that animals are still used as entertainment in the circus today. Elephants are loving sensitive creatures, its been proven and this should be stopped immediately. Fine the ringling circus and beat them with bloody bull hooks.

  • Karie & Alexandra Sandlin says:

    OMG!!!! Seriously??? WTF??!! Why are these circus shows still around!!!! STOP THE CRUELTY NOW!!!!! We ALL share this planet together!!!

  • Karen says:


  • Brenda3d2 says:

    PETA, can you get them out of there via Rescue? There are some Sanctuaries that would take them in. Please stop this horrid display.

  • Debora says:

    This abuse to innocent creatures must end.

  • Jennifer says:

    They came to Columbia,SC a few months ago and people went to see the circus. I have never been and will never go, same with my daughter, I won’t allow her to see such cruelty. No city needs to allow this, they need to find other ways to amuse people without the animals.

  • Ileah says:

    I remember seeing something about this on the news! Only the part I was watching was the circus’s weak defense, it was actually pretty pathetic. “It doesn’t hurt them,” – “We’ve been doing it this way for years,”. Total load of crap, I am all for getting animals out of circuses!

  • Hayley says:

    I just moved from ATL a few months ago. I was SO happy with my city to have banned the bullhook … thought it was a great move in the right direction for these poor animals. Now, I am so literally PISSED OFF that they have retracted this decision. What complete and total hypocrites. I wonder how much they were paid by the circus so that these animal abusers could continue to abuse these animals to get them to perform. Horrible Atlanta – absolutely horrible.

  • lexx says:

    Yes, I wrote a tasteful email. Why because I won’t be silent. These animals need to be removed from Ringlings outdated practice. Education is the key for awareness and success.

  • Josie says:

    PeTA….please protest in front of the Atlanta Zoo and shut it down. Also, I am against the sexual abuse of animals. Laws need to be changed and strengthened to combat this despicable thing.

  • Deborah de Faye Kingston says:

    Here we are in the 21st century able to evolve into a decent human race that will take guard in the care or other sentience. People are realizing that the Earth is not ours alone and we must share as equals with all of her creatures. A circus can be fun and entertaining for the family but leave the animals in the wild where they belong.

  • gloria says:

    yes now we go for the ban the circus.Great work We must not stop We must continue to protest to boycott Anything it takes to ban the circus .This abuse has to stop.Enough is enough from way back how many wildlife has to die from beatings,electric shock etc to open the eyes of the ppl who go to the circus

  • Kerebsa says:

    Humans are animals and we beat others nonetheless! A human gets beat and it’s major and everyones full of rage. But another animal gets beat and noone (of good decency!) cares! I HATE HUMANS

  • Narelle Brown says:

    Animals performing degrading circus acts must end! .. It’s 2012! Wake up, people!

  • Julie Robertson says:

    We are going to run this 500 million dollar corporation of cruelty and greed out of our town. They are on the defensive. The ticket seller had a meltdown tonight and instead of his usual script he addressed our protest on his bullhorn. It certainly helped our cause, because he was only bringing us more attention.

  • sapna says:

    Its not enough that we don’t take our children to the circus but we must ensure that we keep our city “cruelty free”. If we could start such a campaign in every city, then such fellows would not be allowed to get away with. It just breaks my heart to read about the torture they inflict in the name of entertainment.

  • Kaylinn Wood says:

    I grew up going on field trips to circuses, but now after becoming aware of EVERYTHING going on and the horrible horrible things that happen. I DO NOT want my daughter around that. Never, ever will I go to a circus, zoo, marine show, or ANYTHING dealing with animal captivity again. Some people are just down right heartless. I don’t know how they sleep at night, I’m sure they wouldn’t like their families beat because they couldn’t learn a “trick” they were NEVER created to do! Come on Ringling Bros., get a life. Move on to better things then being so low….

  • Hanna Becirovic says:

    It breaks My heart to see that people still to this day treats animals like crap. We live in the 21 century not the medieval times. It is time for us to treat animals with respect and kindness. They are not ours to use as entertainment. Please, I urge you to make ringling stop beating animals or pack up and leave. Kindest regards

  • Leslye Golding says:

    I would NOT go to a circus event PERIOD!