Circus World Exhibitor Acquired Tiger Cubs From Shady Roadside Zoo

PETA Obtains New Documentation Revealing That Tigers Were Passed From One Animal Abuser to Another

For Immediate Release:
August 15, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Baraboo, Wis. – PETA has just learned that Ryan Easley, Circus World’s notorious big-cat exhibitor, acquired two tiger cubs in July from Myrtle Beach Safari, a roadside zoo in South Carolina operated by Bhagavan “Doc” Antle. Antle has a long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, including by endangering the public and by failing to provide animals with needed veterinary care, sufficient cage space, and clean water.

In addition, he uses animals for harmful hands-on encounters, photo ops, and publicity-driven videos, including one featuring a chimpanzee named Sugriva who was separated from his mother as a baby—a common practice in the industry. And in 2014, Antle came under fire from PETA for a shameless—and dangerous—stunt in which he took two chimpanzees to a screening of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

“The fact that a circus exhibitor obtained tiger cubs from a seedy animal-encounters facilitator shows just how low people who exploit animals for a living will stoop,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from animal circuses, roadside zoos, and all other operations in which animals suffer for the gain of cruel people.”

The cubs’ new custodian is no better than the one they left: During training sessions in 2017, Easley was caught violently whipping tigers, one of whom was reportedly struck 31 times. Circus World also uses elephants supplied by Carson & Barnes Circus, whose head trainer was recorded on video viciously attacking elephants with a bullhook and shocking them with an electric prod, causing them to scream in pain. PETA has repeatedly called on the Wisconsin Historical Society, which operates Circus World, to end its cruel and archaic animal performances.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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