PETA Members to Warn Families to Steer Clear of Dangerous Circus in Springfield

After Elephants Escape, Protesters to Alert Parents to Shrine Circuses' History of Violent Incidents

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Springfield, Mo. – Armed with signs and leaflets warning families of the cruelty to animals—and the danger to kids—inherent in circus performances, a group of PETA members will gather outside Springfield’s JQH Arena on Thursday, the opening night of the Shrine circus. The protest comes hot on the heels of the latest dangerous elephant incident at a Shrine circus, in which three elephants who were being used for rides at the Moolah Shrine Circus in St. Charles escaped and roamed around a parking lot for nearly an hour, damaging parked vehicles.

When:   Thursday, April 3, 6 p.m.

Where:  JQH Arena, at the intersection of S. John Q. Hammons Parkway and E. Harrison Street, Springfield

“Elephants who are beaten into performing have been known to lash out—and when they do, the results can be deadly,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is asking families to stay away from the circus—for the sake of the animals and their kids.”

In 2010, an elephant kicked a Shrine circus handler, throwing him approximately 20 feet and killing him, and in 2009, at least 15 children were injured when an elephant who was being used to give rides at a Shrine circus knocked over a stairway. PETA has called on Shriners International to switch to animal-free events, such as the Los Angeles Shriners’ upcoming Spring Carnival.

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For Media: Contact PETA's
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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