‘Lion’ and ‘Elephant’ to Demand Retirement at Ringling’s Opening Night

More Than 100 PETA Protesters to Call for Release of All Wild Animals to Sanctuaries Now

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2016

David Perle 202-540-2194

Led by PETA’s costumed “lion” and “elephant,” more than 100 protesters will converge on the Barclays Center on Thursday, the opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The protesters will display a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end, which the circus uses to beat elephants into submission—and call for the lions, tigers, elephants, and other animals forced to perform in Ringling’s shows to be retired right away to accredited sanctuaries.

Where:           Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn

When:             Thursday, February 25, 6 p.m.

“Chains, cages, whips, and bullhooks are the tools of Ringling’s trade,” says PETA Foundation Captive Law Enforcement Counsel Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on everyone to stay away from Ringling Bros. until the circus takes elephants, tigers, lions, and all other exotic animals off the road and retires them to accredited sanctuaries.”

In nature, big cats roam vast territories—but in circuses, they are carted from arena to arena and confined to cages so small that they can barely turn around. The threat of physical violence forces them to perform dangerous stunts such as jumping through flaming hoops. And while Ringling has pledged to phase out its elephant acts by May, a new report prepared by PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—reveals that elephants at the circus’s “retirement” facility are not only still chained and abused with bullhooks but also put at risk of contracting deadly tuberculosis.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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