‘Elephant’ Will Trumpet in Protest at Circus’s Opening Night

Cruel Training Methods, Injured Animals Prompt PETA Call for Families to Stay Away

For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Queens, N.Y.What:    An “elephant” will lead PETA members in a spirited demonstration outside the opening-night performance of UniverSoul Circus on Wednesday. The protesters will display a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end, which handlers use to threaten elephants into performing—and warn potential circusgoers that a recent inspection of UniverSoul’s elephant exhibitor, Larry Carden, revealed that elephants with bruised feet were still forced to stand on concrete and that one elephant’s wound was covered up with a gray powder called “Wonder Dust.”

When:    Wednesday, April 19, 6 p.m. sharp

Where:    Outside Roy Wilkins Park (at the corner of Merrick Boulevard and 119th Avenue), Queens

Ringling Bros. circus—citing the public’s changing attitudes about its use of animals as well as a decade of declining ticket sales—removed elephants from its shows last year before announcing that it will go out of business in May.

“UniverSoul Circus denies elephants and other animals everything that’s natural and important to them and forces them to perform under threat of punishment—all for a few fleeting minutes of human amusement,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on families not to buy a ticket to any circus that still uses animals.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”

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