‘Elephant’ to Cause a Scene Over Shrine Circus’ Animal Acts

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2022

Robin Goist 202-483-7382

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – “This Place Hurts Animals—Don’t Go In!” That’s the message a PETA supporter in an elephant costume will deliver outside the Irem Shrine Circus on Monday in a call for families to steer clear of the circus’ cruel use of animals in its shows.

When:    Monday, April 18, 12 noon

Where:    280 Market St., Wilkes-Barre

Shrine circuses are among the very last remaining shows that still deprive wild animals—including elephants and big cats—of any semblance of a natural life, carting them about in small crates and keeping them in shackles when they’re not being forced to perform. In the past, Irem Shrine Circus has used elephants provided by Carson & Barnes Circus, whose head trainer was filmed viciously attacking an elephant with a bullhook (a weapon resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end) until she screamed in pain.

“Elephants in this circus should be allowed to pack their trunks and retire rather than be bullied into performing tricks in front of noisy crowds,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on Shrine circuses to follow modern circuses by showing some creativity and putting on a show without using abused and terrified animals.”

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

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, 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