‘Crying Elephants’ to Descend on Sharon Shrine in Rally for Animal-Free Circuses

For Immediate Release:
November 15, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tyler, Texas – On Thursday, giant inflatable crying elephants will be chained and beaten by “circus performers” in fez hats outside the Sharon Shrine as part of PETA’s campaign urging Shriners to modernize their circuses by making them animal-free, just as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is doing.

When:    Thursday, November 17, 6 p.m.

Where:    Sharon Shrine, 10027 State Hwy. 31 E., Tyler

The Sharon Shrine Circus is among the last remaining shows that still use wild animals who are confined to small crates, kept in shackles, and deprived of any semblance of a natural life. It has partnered with notoriously cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video attacking elephants with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end.

“Cruelty takes center stage at any circus where sensitive animals are tormented into performing demeaning tricks in front of noisy crowds,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Sharon Shriners to stop hosting horrifying animal acts, as numerous other shrines have already done.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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