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

Chaining, Bullhooks Prompt PETA Protest of Notorious Circus

For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Newark, N.J.What:    A “crying elephant” will lead PETA supporters in a spirited demonstration outside UniverSoul Circus’ opening-night performance in Newark on Wednesday. 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:    Wednesday, May 16, 6 p.m. sharp

Where:    At the intersection of Orange and Nesbitt streets, Newark

“It’s clear that today’s compassionate public has no interest in sitting through UniverSoul’s abusive animal acts,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on all wild-animal circuses still on the road to end cruel animal acts and modernize their shows by switching to 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.

The largest U.S. circus, Ringling Bros., went out of business last May, citing the public’s changing attitude toward the use of animals as demonstrated by declining ticket sales. Kelly Miller Circus is now touring animal-free, and earlier this year, Stardust Circus removed its elephant acts, citing protests.

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