Circus Pages Shuts Down, Ending Years of Shocking Animal Abuse

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Florida-based Circus Pages has followed Ringling Bros. circus into the history books: It’s shut down!

The cruel circus’s closure follows years of PETA-supported protests across the country and shocking video footage of its animal acts. In 2016, a video was released showing Circus Pages trainers whipping and beating a tiger after the stressed and likely frightened animal grabbed and dragged a trainer. Other footage showed the circus’s trainers whipping a lion, forcing a lame elephant to give rides while they wielded bullhooks (sharp weapons that resemble a fireplace poker), and vigorously shaking a dog forced to wear an elephant costume.

The Pages family has stopped touring as Circus Pages, and it moved the two elephants it was holding to the Memphis Zoo, meaning that the pair hasn’t been forced to travel since 2018. But the Pages kept big cats and camels and continued to exhibit them at various other circuses.

In August 2020, the Pages told state regulators that they had moved the big cats—and a health certificate shows that the tigers and lions went to Tiger Haven in Tennessee. The facility isn’t a true sanctuary, but the move does mean that the big cats are off the road and will no longer be hauled from city to city and forced to perform confusing tricks while audiences gawk at them.

The Pages family has a history of failing to provide animals with adequate care and has violated the federal Animal Welfare Act, including by failing to have records of veterinary care and failing to provide animals with sufficient space and appropriate food.

PETA is still campaigning for the camels to be retired to reputable, accredited facilities.

Ringling Bros. shut down, Kelly Miller Circus went animal-free, Illinois and New York have banned traveling elephant acts, and more and more venues and cities across the U.S. are prohibiting or restricting wild-animal exhibits. The near future is animal act–free.

Animals Are Not Spectacles

If circuses want to keep their seats filled and remain viable in today’s world, they need to eliminate all animal acts. Use PETA’s rapid action form below to urge multiple circuses and the venues that host them to stop exploiting elephants, tigers, and other animals or supporting their exploitation. Let them know that the public wants them to do the right thing by featuring only talented and willing human performers.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind