PETA Calls On Hickory Ridge Mall to Bar Abuser’s Tiger Act

Appeal to Send Mitchel Kalmanson Packing Comes After Newly Released Records Show New Violations of Federal Law

For Immediate Release: August 26, 2013

Contact: David Perle 202-483-7382, ext. 2194

Memphis, Tenn. — Notoriously cruel tiger exhibitor Mitchel Kalmanson has a documented history of confining tigers to tiny transport cages in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and he just racked up additional U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citations for leaving tigers for prolonged periods in undersized metal cages. The USDA’s action came two days after a complaint that PETA made to the agency, which included photographs showing the caged animals sitting in 90-degree–plus weather. Kalmanson’s tiger trainer reportedly told the USDA inspector that they keep the tigers caged 24/7 for at least the four to seven weeks that they’re on the road, which denies the animals even the slightest amount of exercise and everything else that’s natural and important to them—and that’s why PETA has sent a letter to Hickory Ridge Mall officials urging them to prohibit Kalmanson’s tiger act during upcoming performances of UniverSoul Circus.

“While UniverSoul’s exhibitors flout the laws written to protect animals, these animals suffer, stored away like inanimate props,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “The suffering endured by these big cats, who spend most of their lives locked up in tiny metal cages, should prompt the Hickory Ridge Mall to send Kalmanson packing—and Memphis-area residents to stay away from UniverSoul Circus and all other circuses that use animals.”

In 2011, the USDA cited Kalmanson following another PETA complaint that included video footage of a tiger with UniverSoul Circus as she struggled after her foot became pinned underneath a panel of a cage. Kalmanson was also cited in April while with UniverSoul for failing to care for a limping tiger properly, putting a tiger at risk of strangulation, and denying tigers adequate space and exercise. In 2008, he was ordered to pay a $6,000 penalty for two tiger escapes that took place while exhibiting with UniverSoul.
PETA’s letter to the Hickory Ridge Mall is available upon request. For more information, please visit


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