PETA Points to Exhibitor's Citations for Filthy Conditions and Lack of Veterinary Care
For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382
On Wednesday, PETA supporters in tiger and elephant costumes with “tears” running down their faces will descend on the opening night of UniverSoul Circus in the Bronx. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that UniverSoul leases the tiger act used in its shows from notorious big-cat exhibitor Mitchel Kalmanson, who has been cited repeatedly for failure to provide veterinary care and for excessive confinement, including one citation last year for holding tigers in foul-smelling, maggot-infested cages without exercise.
Where: 149th and Exterior streets, across from Gateway Center and next to Bridge Tickets, the Bronx
When: Wednesday, March 30, 6 p.m. sharp
Elephants don’t fare any better at UniverSoul, as the highly social animals were taken away from their families, and trainers use bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on one end—to force them to perform confusing and uncomfortable tricks. Many cities, including Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, have banned the use of bullhooks because of the pain that they inflict upon elephants.
“The tigers, elephants, and other animals used by UniverSoul Circus are imprisoned, denied everything that’s natural and important to them, and bullied into performing dangerous stunts under the threat of physical violence,” says PETA Foundation Captive Animal Law Enforcement Counsel Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges consumers never to buy tickets to circuses that use and abuse animals.”
Broadcast-quality video footage of abusive training and handling practices used by UniverSoul exhibitors is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.