‘Crying Elephants’ to Descend on Shriner HQ in Rally for Animal-Free Circuses

For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tampa, Fla. – On Thursday, giant inflatable elephants will be chained and beaten by “circus performers” in fez hats outside the Shriners International headquarters to launch PETA’s campaign—complete with a campaign logo featuring a Shriner’s fez and a “Stop Shriners’ Cruel Animal Circuses” message—pushing Shriners to modernize their circuses by making them animal-free, just as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is doing.

When:    Thursday, November 3, 12 noon

Where:    Shriners International, 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa

Shrine circuses, including the notorious Hadi, Yaarab, Moolah, and Sharon Shrine circuses, are among the very last remaining shows that still deprive wild animals of any semblance of a natural life. They partner with abusive exhibitors who confine the animals to small crates, keep them in shackles, and hit them with whips, electric prods, and bullhooks—a weapon resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end.

“Cruelty takes center stage at Shrine circuses, where animals are abused and forced to perform demeaning tricks,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Shriners International to adopt a policy banning all animal acts, as numerous other circuses have 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