‘Crying Elephant’ to Crowds: Stay Away From Cruel UniverSoul Circus

Chaining and Lack of Veterinary Care Prompt PETA Protest of Notorious Circus

For Immediate Release:
March 22, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Queens. N.Y.What:    A “crying elephant” will lead PETA members in a spirited demonstration outside UniverSoul Circus’ performance in Queens on Friday. The protesters will display a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end, which circus handlers use to threaten elephants into performing.

When:    Friday, March 23, 6 p.m. sharp

Where:    Outside Roy Wilkins Park (at the intersection of Merrick Boulevard and 119th Avenue), Queens

“It’s clearer than ever that today’s compassionate public has no interest in sitting through UniverSoul’s abusive animal acts,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on all wild-animal circuses still on the road to end cruel and antiquated animal acts and modernize their shows by using only willing human performers.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that an inspection of UniverSoul’s elephant exhibitor, Larry Carden, last year revealed that elephants with bruised feet were still being forced to stand on concrete and that one elephant’s wound had been covered up with a gray powder called Wonder Dust.

New York City has banned wild-animal circuses (effective later this year), New York State has banned elephant acts (effective in 2019), and Ringling Bros. circus went out of business last May, citing the public’s changing attitude toward its use of animals as well as a decade of declining ticket sales.

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