Shocking Bodycam Video Footage Shows Terrified Zebra Caught in Circus Trailer Fire

Published by PETA Staff.
2 min read

According to reports, a trailer hauling animals for the Mizpah Shrine Circus recently caught fire in Indiana, endangering lives and causing a hectic scene that was captured in shocking bodycam video footage. In the clip below, a group of men are seen trying to get a terrified zebra out of the burning vehicle, pulling on ropes fastened to the animal while swearing loudly.

The Shriners have been repeatedly warned that it’s already terrifying for these animals to be crammed into trailers, hauled hundreds of miles, and forced to perform tricks that baffle and distress them—but now, being trapped in a fire and likely inhaling toxic smoke have added to their trauma.

screenshots from a video showing the dramatic removal of a zebra from a burning circus trailer

Nothing could be further from the quiet, vast plains and woodlands where zebras belong than a traveling circus. Colorful pageantry disguises the fact that animals used in acts are held captive and forced—under threat of punishment—to perform confusing, uncomfortable, repetitious, and often painful tricks.

In the past, runaway zebras have been gunned down, been hit by cars, fallen off cliffs, and sustained deadly injuries. Tigers have escaped and been shot dead.

PETA is calling on the Mizpah Shrine to have a heart, understand that times have changed, and follow the lead of Ringling Bros. and UniverSoul circuses by dropping animal acts altogether.

Tell Shriners International It’s Time for an Update: End Cruel Animal Circuses!

Shriners International claims to be dedicated to compassion and service to others, yet its chapters continue to host notoriously cruel animal circuses.

It’s as black-and-white as a zebra’s stripes: Hauling sensitive animals from town to town inside cramped cages and forcing them to perform tricks under the threat of punishment is a form of speciesism—a human-supremacist worldview—and it must end.

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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

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