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Victory! Circus Sends Pachyderms Packing

Written by PETA | January 21, 2010

Behold the power of the pen and the protest: Walker Bros. Circus has axed elephant acts from its lineup—and it seems that there’s little chance the pachyderms will return. A spokesperson told that the circus has “basically done away with using exotic animals in the show because of the [animal rights] activists.”


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PETA has long denounced Walker Bros. Circus for its abuse of elephants, many of whom were leased from Hawthorn Corp., which was forced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to surrender 16 elephants after the agency charged both Hawthorn and Walker Bros. Circus with numerous serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

It was the concern and actions of caring people that prompted Walker Bros. Circus to finally drop exotic animals from its lineup—and maybe the circus will eventually drop all animal acts. Let’s remember this as we continue to rally against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s shocking mistreatment of elephants and other animals.

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • Cyndie says:

    Bravo to PETA for everything you do. I have mixed emotions about CAVALIA & fear its just a circus act. I live in Toronto & the show has been running for 5 months and they have just extended it ‘again’. I question how the horses get any fresh air being in the core of the city. It doesnt appear there is any OUTDOOR GREEN space for the horses. They certainly get their exercise during the show (too much I’m afraid) but when do these horses catch a break? I have a hunch Cavalia is only in this for their financial gain and the health of the horses is secondary. Do you have any thoughts or info on this?

  • Lisa says:

    I’d like to make a statement regarding the horses in the Cavalia show. I actually own a gelding that was abandoned by the show back in 2007. Not sure how much care he had but his brain is “FRIED” and has post traumatic stress. A circus is a circus and Cavalia is just as guilty as the rest.

  • Laila says:


  • Rose says:

    Hooray!! Such fantastic news!!! Thank you Peta and all you animal lovers out there that care enough to act.It really does make a difference!Ringling you are next…what a happy day that will be!

  • Debbie says:

    Baby StepsBaby Steps This is the way we change the world. Ringlingare you listening now?! PETA again does the job for all of us! Thanks Ingrid!

  • Carolyn says:

    AMEN!!! This is the best news I’ve heard in a Long Time. THANK YOU ANIMAL ACTIVISTS!!! Thank you so much for saving elephants from suffering cruel and inhumane conditions.

  • Marjorie Jennings says:

    Thank God we’re making some progress in stopping circuses from having animals especially elephants. The trainers are cruel representatives of the human family. I hope that all circuses will give their animals to a sanctuary. The elephant sanctuary in TN would love to have the elephants so that they can live out their lives in peace love and much happiness with other elephants. Let’s all work on this!

  • Juliet says:

    This is great news. But never let up! Ringling Bros…. your next!

  • klarasun says:

    yeeesssssss !!!!!!! Thank you…and now the others please !!!!!!!!

  • Amanda says:

    Just another days hard work

  • brittany says:

    YES!!!!! go peta!!!!

  • Ernesto says:

    the violations must have been very serious for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to force them to surrender the animals. They don’t do it because they’re nice. We need to keep putting pressure on Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey to give up animal acts on their show. We go a step a a time this time an elephant step!!! Bravo!

  • carolyn says:

    THANK YOU PETA!!!!!!!!!!!! Walker Bros. Circus deserves praise for changing their ways and taking the ethical high road. NEXT…ALL CIRCUSES DUMP ALL ANIMALS!! ALL ANIMALS!

  • sergio says:

    Yes no more animals acts in circus also the goverment shoul step in ans stop this cruelty is hard to belive that’s hapening in america.

  • klarasun says:

    Hey Ken we’ve all been there… yeehaww! …broncs and bulls maybe better don’t remind us. Just in a bullish mood this news wings my hope that with every day animals get more and more supporters! Thank you sooo much PETA for helping the elephants out of the circuses !!!

  • sydney says:

    WOOOHOO!!!!!!!!!! VICTORY those guys should be arrested.Im so so happy.elephants should be having a party right now!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cathy says:

    I pray every day for the workers PETA sends who have to endure seeing the animals suffer in order to document it. The Internet is the best tool ever for getting the message out. Thank you for all you do. PETA is in my will. The way we treat animals is a continuous holocaust.

  • Marnie says:

    Absolutely fantastic…I hope the others follow! I always feel sorry for elephants in circuses a life there is totally against their normal behavior and they are so sensitive and smart. They have personality which gets broken by circuses while “training” them… Thank you very much PETA for giving elephants a voice !!!

  • Michelli Hassell says:

    This is great news for all the animals involved. The circus is a terible place for animals. Peta what a good job…you guys rock!!!! Ringling Is next for sure!

  • Kris Shulfer says:

    Thank Goodness!!! i will concur…1 down Ringling to go!!!!

  • Eric says:

    Hey Ken you want to know what the circus looks like without animals? Check out “Cirque du Soleil”.

  • Jamie says:

    Great to hear progress is being made and we are moving forward to make the world better. Let’s continue on improving our treatment of creatures we share this planet with.

  • Kristina says:

    YAY!! Now Ringling just needs to do the same… Big step in the right direction..

  • Lauren Holt says:

    Actually cried with happiness a little bit! And I’m not usually an optimist but I think Ringling is going to fall into submission soon!

  • Cindy says:

    I am so happy that this is a step in the right directions. It still upsets me so much that the elephants are standing calmly and the idiot trainers are standing there beating them for reason. Many of them are thugs right out of jail. They have banned animal circuses in Indian and also parts of South American. I can’t believe we are last when it comes to animal rights. Especially the abuse of tearing baby elepants away from their mothers. There is a huge social bond with mother and baby elephants. This abuse must be stopped. See my website and you can help with my company’s non profit division designed to help this cause. See You will be able to sleep at night. They are defenseless!

  • Laurie Johnson says:

    Cirque does use horses in their Cavalia show but those horses are treated as they should be like family. BUt what I want to know is what happens to the elephants now? What happens to the horses when they’re too old to perform? Does PETA make sure they don’t end up in slaughter houses or dumped somewhere the animals suffer?

  • Jill says:

    I am so grateful for PETA! You rock! As one individual fighting at a local level I understand completely the power of PETA. one person can’t do it all but PETA can! Thank you!

  • Karen Favreau says:

    After seeing numerous footage of trainers whipping and mistreating the elephants and another showing the inhumanity of the circus trainers doing what they can to break the spirit of the baby elephants taken from their mothers at birth I sent an email to Ringling Bros about it and the fact that I’m not only going to boycott circuses but spread the word far and wide about it. I cried all night over it is such a painful thing to see those wonderful animals suffer. I asked myself is what they go through over here in the states worse than the elephant poaching in Africa? If I can help spread the word please tell me cause I want to help.

  • claire paruch says:

    I have just looked at photos of the HORRENDOUS AND CRUEL ‘training’ Ringling Circus inflicts on the elephants!!! I know I cannot use the words I really want to say here but I would love to stick a bull hook up that mans arse and probe it with an electric rod FULL STRENGTH… please dont tell me they are still treating the animals this way???

  • Joellen Hair says:

    Look Ringling Your FINISHED!!!!

  • Andrea says:

    PETA rules! I support you all the way! Wild animals should never be torn away from their home held captive and used for human entertainment.

  • margo says:

    Hooray! I love it! I hope ALL circuses drop animal acts. I think most people come to see the trapeze artists and tightrope walkers anyway. And maybe the clowns.

  • Eileen says:

    I don’t think it’s necessary to “yell” at someone for asking a question like “now what?” As far as entertainment Cirque du Soleil sp? is an awesome spectacle and no animals involved. Carnivals used to have freak shows and they do just fine without them now. Obviously I’m not a fan of rodeos either since I’m an activist but I believe most people are more willing to listen to you if you aren’t judging them and acting superior andor patronizing. There are generations of learned behaviors and ethics involved and being angry won’t change that. Cultures such as ours have been brainwashed into accepting LOTS of unacceptable behaviors so being fanatical and angry only alienates US as the freaks. I think I get more angry about that on most days than anything else. It’s selfdefeating to be hostile. There is a time and a place for anger.

  • Julie Dexter says:

    FanTASTic!!! Way to go! Yep Ringling you’re next!!!

  • Hollywallyrawr says:

    Lol pwned.

  • Kaar says:

    Wow!! Great news!

  • miranda says:

    WOOO! i just high five’d my monitor

  • Rebekah says:

    Darlene Francis Acrobats can be pretty amazing. Also would it really affect your life much if the circus didn’t exist anymore? Not that that’s what is happening but really how big of a part does the circus play in the average person’s life? You may get a chance to go to one once a year at the most. I think the safety of defenseless animals is much more important than whether or not we can see an elephant or a tiger be miserable in a show. There are lots of other ways to be entertained.

  • Susan T says:

    Well Ken how ’bout if we take you and put you in a rodeo chute take a nice wide belt and pull it real tight around your cahones and then find a numbskull red neck to ride on your back for about eight seconds? I wonder how you’ll like it cowboy? And don’t give me that bull about broncs and bulls being bred for and likin’ to buck. I rarely if ever see horses or bulls bucking their brains out when they’re peacefully grazing in their pastures. ONLY SICK AND DOMINATING IDIOTS ENJOY SUCH A BRUTAL AND UNNECESSARY SPORT. Too far? We haven’t gone nearly far enough and no we’re not out to end compassionate and respectful relationships with domestic animals. Just for one week I wish everyone who supports animal circuses could live as one of those circus animals. We have no right to treat these animals so inhumanely under the guise of entertainment. Why do you NEED a circus to begin with? Why did we think we needed slaves or that women shouldn’t have ever been allowed to vote? Ken it’s called consciousraising. Won’t you join us?

  • Caitlyn says:

    Yay! Good job PETA and good job other helpers! This is an important cause and I am very glad to see that our work has paid off! Let’s stop other cruel circuses next!

  • ken says:

    so what now when we go to the circus there’ll be none of the acts of before?? what is left of the circus now?? a bunch of acrobats?? in some ways i do support animal rights activists but there is a line where you’ve gone too far as far as im concerned this is too far its like the next thing you will say is we can not own dogs if we live in town or have buckin broncs and bulls at the rodeo

  • darlene Francis says:

    Thats wonderful!!! BRAVO

  • John says:

    Timothy Paterson I suggest you disable that email address you published here and change it because the proabuse people are going to send you terrible and threatening emails. Here is their lobbyist. He has lobbied for Ringling Brothers and also lobbies for the puppy mill breeders. httpwww.consumerdeception.comindex.asp I know first hand that he gets people like dog breeders puppy mill people livestock farmers to harass anyone who protests the circus!

  • John says:

    Hello? Walker Brothers Circus was involved with elephant abuse and they GOT CAUGHT many times. They got fined too. These are criminals.

  • Timothy Paterson says:

    Dear Karin Bennett Thanks for posting this above information about at least one circus group which has supposedly dropped exotic animals from being put on display in its circus “acts”. I had personally notified the Chamber of Commerce in Des Moines IA about the Ringling circus and what they are guilty of and asked the representative of the Chamber to just take a look at the website to confirm that this in fact was true. So far the Ringling circus has NOT come to this area as they had planned so this was successful so far that I know. In fact just short of any legal action or ordinance the fact that the public just won’t “buy” it i.e. patronize the circuses because of the cruelty in the “training” of the animals should I hope prompt any would be group from even considering doing anything which exploits or harms any animal in any way. I hope that this information about notifying the local Chambers of Commerce in any given area will help PETA and any other concerned persons with having to deal with any cruelty to animals even to prevent this from happening in the first place. Sincerely Timothy M. Paterson email address

  • Aneliese says:

    1 down Ringling to go!

  • Shari says:

    I am so HAPPY! Does anyone know if the elephants are going to a sanctuary?

  • NT says:

    YAY!!!!! Ringling next!