Markham Theatre Nixes Tiger From Act After PETA Appeal

Big Cat Won't Perform in Upcoming Magic Show

For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2016

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Markham, Ont. – After learning from PETA that forcing exotic animals to perform is illegal in the city of Markham, the manager of the Flato Markham Theatre confirmed that tigers will no longer be part of magician Greg Frewin’s January show. In its letter to both the theatre and city officials, PETA pointed out that Markham’s Animal Control By-Law expressly prohibits unaccredited exhibitors from using exotic animals in public displays.

The group also noted that forcing wild animals to perform is both cruel and dangerous, as tigers are apex predators who shun contact with humans. Captive tigers who have been denied everything that’s natural and important to them have attempted to escape and lashed out, causing injuries.

“Big-cat magic shows are doing a disappearing act as audiences recognize that wild animals belong in the wild,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “The Flato Markham Theatre was quick to act on PETA’s request and made the kind and legal choice to keep exploited tigers off the stage.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that more and more entertainers are leaving animal acts behind. Magician Kirby VanBurch continued to perform after retiring big cats from his acts, and veteran Las Vegas magician Rick Thomas also retired the big cats he formerly used in his acts to a sanctuary.

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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