Hundreds to Call Out Beatings, Abuse at Ringling Bros. Circus

Costumed PETA 'Elephants' Will Join Protesters to Call for an Immediate End to Elephant Abuse

For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – A throng of costumed “elephants”—flanked by hundreds of PETA supporters—will roll up the welcome mat on Ringling Bros. on its opening day and night at the Staples Center this Thursday. In two separate demonstrations, protesters will let passersby know that video footage from a PETA investigation shows handlers routinely striking elephants with bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end. A ban on bullhooks, effectively prohibiting Ringling from performing within Los Angeles city limits, will go into effect in January 2017—a precedent that Oakland, California, has recently followed. A bill to ban bullhooks statewide is currently moving through the legislature.

Where:           Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St. (at the intersection of W. 12th and S. Figueroa streets), Los Angeles

When:             Thursday, July 9, 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

As Ringling stated that it plans to phase out its performing-elephant program, The New York Times published an editorial joining PETA’s call for the circus to retire the elephants immediately.

“As California considers banning bullhooks statewide, the public has made it clear that it will not stand for the circus as long as animals are forced into the spotlight,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on Ringling to swap this antiquated, dying model for a kinder one now rather than condemning elephants to another three years of abuse and deprivation, with no relief in sight for other animals.”

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” encourages families to steer clear of animal acts.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website

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