Nude ‘Zebra’ to Bray in Protest on Circus’s Opening Day

PETA Says That Animal-Welfare Citations, Lack of Veterinary Care Are Among Reasons Families Should Stay Away From UniverSoul

For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Raleigh, N.C.What:    A PETA “zebra”—wearing little more than bodypaint—will be in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday, the day of UniverSoul Circus’ opening-night performance, to urge families not to buy tickets to the circus while it’s in town.

When:    Wednesday, August 9, 12 noon sharp

Where:    At the southwest corner of Moore Square, intersection of E. Martin and S. Blount streets, Raleigh

“UniverSoul Circus denies zebras, elephants, and other animals everything that’s natural and important to them—just for a few fleeting minutes of human amusement,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on families to refuse to buy tickets to any circus that still uses animals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that UniverSoul routinely hires animal exhibitors who have racked up piles of animal-welfare citations. Zebras have escaped from the circus and run through city streets as recently as March 2016 in Philadelphia and November 2015 in Oakland, California. In February, during a routine inspection of the circus while it was in Atlanta, animal control officers discovered numerous animal-welfare issues, including an injured zebra, wounded camels, elephants with bruised feet, and an elephant named Bo with a wound on his ankle.

Ringling Bros. circus—citing the public’s changing attitude toward its use of animals as well as a decade of declining ticket sales—went out of business in May.

PETA members will also hold a spirited protest outside the circus’s performance on Wedenesday at 6 p.m., outside PNC Arena at Edwards Mill Road and E. Stephen Stroud Way.

For more information, please visit

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