‘Crying Elephant’ to Protest UniverSoul Circus’ Philadelphia Show

PETA Will Mark Notorious Circus's 25th Anniversary of Horrors With Summary of 25 Times UniverSoul Hurt Animals

For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

PhiladelphiaWhat:    A “crying elephant” will lead PETA supporters in an angry demonstration outside UniverSoul Circus’ opening-night performance at Fairmount Park on Thursday. 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 coerce elephants into performing. The protest comes during the year of the circus’s 25th anniversary—and to mark the occasion, PETA has published a blog post titled, “25 Times UniverSoul Was Bad to Animals.”

When:    Thursday, November 8, 6 p.m. sharp

Where:    Fairmount Park, at the intersection of N. 52nd Street and Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

“For a quarter of a century, UniverSoul has dragged abused animals across the country and forced them to perform tricks for its tired, cruel, old show,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “The circus’s record shows what the public already knows: UniverSoul must nix the animal acts if it wants to survive for another 25 years.”

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

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus went out of business last year, citing the public’s changing attitude toward the use of animals. Kelly Miller Circus is now touring animal-free, and Stardust Circus removed its elephant acts earlier this year, 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