BREAKING: Circus Trainer Killed During Rehearsal With Four Tigers

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Circus trainers abuse animals until they’re so terrified that they’ll perform ridiculous, demeaning, and often painful tricks. It was during a training session that four tigers snapped, killing circus trainer Ettore Weber during a rehearsal yesterday evening in Italy, just one hour before a Circo Orfei show was scheduled to start.

Weber, seen during a previous performance in the video above, was knocked down by one of the tigers. The other three big cats pounced on him. According to the Daily Mail, medics watched in horror as the tigers played with his maimed body for about 30 minutes. The medics and the 61-year-old circus trainer’s fellow human performers were reportedly unable to do anything to help him.

This is how tigers are routinely treated by circus trainers:

In the video above, Weber can be seen holding a long stick in one hand and a whip in the other. In order to coerce the tigers into performing, he repeatedly whacks them with the stick and hits them with the whip.

If someone repeatedly beat you with a stick and a whip, you’d lash out, too.

These abusive training techniques are extremely widespread. The use of animals by circuses is inherently cruel, which is why PETA is working to end the practice. Animals used in shows are trained through punishment and food deprivation. In order to condition tigers to perform dangerous, unnatural tricks, handlers routinely punish those who don’t comply. Circuses easily get away with such treatment, because no government agency monitors training sessions.

And this is all after the animals have been bred in captivity.

Tigers should be left alone, free to roam their natural habitats—not imprisoned and exploited in circuses, forced to live in misery. They’re often separated from their mothers long before they would naturally part, causing emotional distress for both mothers and cubs. Many are forced to live inside cramped cages and are denied the opportunity to exercise, roam, socialize, forage, or play. They’re often forced to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate in the same place.

Sometimes, the only time these animals are let out of cages is for their brief performances—when they’re subjected to whippings and roaring crowds.

We shouldn’t be surprised when tigers act like tigers.

They’re big, dangerous predators who have teeth and claws, which they use to protect themselves. It’s not surprising that those who are denied food, beaten, or whipped might snap.

Enslaving and abusing living beings for entertainment is never acceptable.

Our goal is to make animal-abusing circus acts a thing of the past. We’ve made tons of progress, but we still need your help. Please, never buy a ticket to a circus that uses animals—attend only those that exclusively use willing human performers. Click below to do more:

Speak Up for Animals Used in Circus Shows

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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