Elephants to ‘Retire’ From Circus World: PETA Welcomes ‘Baby Step’

For Immediate Release:
September 14, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Baraboo, Wis. – Following years of pressure from PETA, the Wisconsin Historical Society has just announced that the elephants it has been forcing to perform will be “retired” after summer 2023—but that “animals will continue to be a vital part” of its shows. Below, please find a statement in response from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler:

After exposing the suffering of elderly elephants at Circus World, speaking at Wisconsin Historical Society meetings, running eye-catching ads, and more, PETA welcomes the news that these elephants’ days of being exploited in the museum’s tawdry shows will soon end. While this is a baby step forward, PETA is calling on Circus World to take a jumbo one: End all animal acts now, and stop forcing elephants to perform even one more day.

The elephants will reportedly live at an Oklahoma facility operated by Carson & Barnes Circus, which chains “retired” elephants, breeds them, and exploits them for lucrative public feeding photo ops and other forms of entertainment. Court records reveal that a woman was left permanently disfigured and disabled after being attacked during a photo op with an elephant at the facility.

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.

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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