Hadi Shrine Circus Ends Elephant Acts; PETA Celebrates

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Evansville, Ind.

The Hadi Shrine just announced that its circus will no longer feature elephant acts, a decision following a vigorous PETA campaign that included supporters who crashed the shrine’s black-tie gala and confronted a past Hadi Shrine potentate outside Oak Meadow Country Club. Multiple sponsors, including PPG Industries, DSM, Polyram Plastic Industries, and Jagoe Homes, cut ties with the Hadi Shrine Circus after hearing from PETA, and Sherwin-Williams advised its local business groups to refrain from these types of sponsorships. Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler:

After losing sponsors—from PPG Industries to DSM—facing one protest after another from PETA and local advocates, and being flooded with more than 250,000 e-mails from our supporters, the Hadi Shrine Circus finally announced that it will stop exploiting elephants in its acts. PETA is celebrating the decision today and calling on the few remaining holdout shrines to switch to animal-free circuses that keep cruelty out of the big top.

PETA will continue to advocate in behalf of the elephants who live at the deceptively named Endangered Ark Foundation. This facility in Oklahoma is operated by Carson & Barnes Circus, a longtime partner of the Hadi Shrine Circus that has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The head trainer for Carson & Barnes was caught on video beating elephants, and Viola, an elderly elephant exploited by the company, made her third escape attempt from a circus show just yesterday. The Endangered Ark Foundation chains elephants, breeds them, and exploits them for lucrative public feeding photo ops and other forms of entertainment.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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