Following ‘Tiger King’ Exposé, New Billboard Calls On Circus World to End Big-Cat, Elephant Acts

Cruelty in the Wild-Animal Exploitation Industry Now a Matter of Fact, Says PETA Attorney Who Appeared in TV Show

For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Baraboo, Wis.

A new PETA billboard has just gone up near Circus World to encourage the public to stay away from any circus show in which tigers and other captive wild animals are forced to perform. Circus World suspended live-animal acts for 2020 because of COVID-19—and PETA says that the museum must make the change a permanent one if it is to stay relevant to the public, whose values have changed.

Circus World’s big-cat exhibitor, Ryan Easley, has obtained tigers from Tiger King‘s “Doc” Antle, who was revealed in the docuseries as one of the most exploitative tiger breeders in the country. Antle tears big-cat cubs away from their mothers shortly after birth, uses them as photo props, and—according to the show’s subject, Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage—gasses some of them to death when they grow too old for playtime events with paying customers, using an on-site crematorium to burn their bodies. Easley himself has been caught on video violently whipping tigers during training sessions.

“Cruel big-cat acts and chained elephants should be a part of circus past, not a part of Circus World’s present or future,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet, who is featured in Tiger King. “PETA is calling on Circus World to adopt a permanent policy of hosting only human performers, who have the freedom to walk away if they so wish.”

Circus World has also used elephant acts provided by Carson & Barnes Circus, whose head trainer was caught instructing other trainers to sink a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end—into elephants’ flesh and twist it until they scream.

The billboard is located on Highway 136, south of South Boulevard, just over 2 miles from Circus World.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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