Oil Palace Warned: Federal Findings of Neglected Tigers Tied to Upcoming Circus

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Tyler, Texas – In light of a new federal inspection report revealing that the tiger exhibitor for Jordan World Circus was found keeping big cats inside cramped cages in a sweltering, maggot-infested barn—and because elephants recently used by Jordan World have appeared to be stiff, slow, and lame, likely from their years of continual travel and extensive periods of time in leg shackles—PETA sent an urgent letter this morning to The Oil Palace owner Bobby Manziel Jr. asking him to bar Jordan World from using animals in its shows from September 4 through 6.

“Jordan World’s tiger exhibitor stored big cats like luggage inside a stinking, maggot-infested barn,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on The Oil Palace to have a Texas-size heart and require an animal-free circus, because kind people don’t want to see wildlife used as marionettes.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Manziel follows.

August 23, 2021

Bobby Manziel, Jr.


The Oil Palace

Dear Mr. Manziel:

I’m writing again on behalf of PETA with damning evidence of neglect associated with the notorious Jordan World Circus, which is slated to exploit big cats and elephants at The Oil Palace next month. We urge you to bar the circus from using animals at its upcoming shows immediately.

A new federal inspection report revealed that the circus’ tiger exhibitor, Adam Burck, has been storing the animals like old equipment in cramped travel crates since at least the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The inspector found the cages in a sweltering, maggot-infested barn, where the tigers had no means to escape the heat and stench. A bony, elderly tiger named Shere Khan hadn’t received veterinary care in more than a year, and the animals were pacing, stressed, and agitated.

There are also serious concerns about the well-being of elephants recently used by Jordan World—including Janice, Cindy, and Betty, who were supplied by the Carden family. These animals are aging, and a life of constant travel and prolonged chaining has taken a toll on their joints. They’re often forced to perform and give rides even when they appear stiff, slow, or lame, and trainers use threats and intimidation to control them.

Circuses should be fun for everyone, but they’re miserable for the tigers forced to jump through hoops and the elephants confined to dark, cramped trailers. Now, hundreds of venues and dozens of communities prohibit or restrict traveling acts that use animals. Animal-abusing circuses are shutting down, while modern circuses are dazzling audiences with only willing human performers.

Will you please prioritize animal welfare and public safety by barring Jordan World’s animal acts?

Very truly yours,

Melanie Johnson


Animals in Entertainment Campaign

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