Young Woman Held Captive for Years Decries Circus Abuses

Published by PETA. / CC
Natascha Kampusch

Natascha Kampusch made headlines around the world when she was finally able to escape her kidnapper after being held for eight years in a dungeon in Austria. “I suffered from claustrophobia and I thought I was going crazy in there,” Kampusch told Austria’s ORF television after her escape. “I was very distraught and very angry.”

Recognizing that her ordeal was chillingly similar to that of tigers, elephants, and other animals who are snatched from their native homes and loving families only to be caged or chained by circus trainers for the rest of their lives, Natascha has joined PETA Germany in calling for freedom for animals in circuses. She looks forward to the day when circuses will stop depriving wild animals of everything that is natural and important to them. Here’s what Natascha had to say:

It is now up to [German agriculture minister Ilse] Aigner to decide whether social, intelligent, and beautiful living beings should continue to be humiliated because ruthless or naïve people keep them chained in cages—depressed, broken and limited to an [extent] that prevents them from living a normal life according to their needs. Animals, too, would run away if they could, just like I took my chance to escape. Because a life in captivity is a life full of deprivation.

Thank you, Natascha, for speaking out in behalf of so many animals whose cries for help have yet to be heard by German lawmakers. Hopefully, Minister Aigner is listening.

Written by Karin Bennett

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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