‘Bear’ to Roar Against Shriners’ Cruel Animal Acts in Nashville

PETA Protest Follows Damning Viral Video Showing Bears Struck in the Face at Shrine Circus

For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Nashville, Tenn. – A costumed “bear”—along with a “tiger” and an “elephant”—will lead PETA supporters in a spirited protest outside the Shriners International Imperial Session at the Music City Center on Sunday to urge Shrine chapters to stop hiring circuses that feature cruel animal acts.

When:    Sunday, June 30, 2:30 p.m.

Where:    Near the intersection  of Demonbreun Street and Sixth Avenue outside the Music City Center, 201 Fifth Ave. S., Nashville

A recent PETA video shows an owner of the notorious Castle’s Bears, an exhibitor frequently and exclusively used by Shrine circuses, repeatedly hitting two bears, Nanook and Tutter—including in the face—with a metal rod during a show. Another PETA video shows animal handlers whipping a tiger’s face, jabbing an elephant with a bullhook, and causing a bear to urinate from distress as she’s forced to walk on her forelegs. An animal behavior expert documented the rampant psychological abuse, neglect, and coercion of the animals he observed at Shrine circuses in an explosive 68-page report.

“Despite numerous viral videos, an expert report, and public outrage, the shameless Shriners continue to support tormenting bears and other animals into performing confusing and likely painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on Shriners International to adopt an official policy banning all animal acts at Shrine circuses.”

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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