Protesting ‘Tigers’ to Call Out UniverSoul Circus for Cruelty to Animals

PETA Points to Exhibitors' Citations for Filthy Conditions and Lack of Veterinary Care

For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Detroit, Mich.What:    On Tuesday, three PETA supporters in tiger costumes will descend on UniverSoul Circus’ performance at Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheatre. 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.

When:    Tuesday, September 13, 6 p.m. sharp 

Where:    Chene Park Amphitheatre, 2600 Atwater St., Detroit

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. Rhode Island and California have recently followed many cities, including Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, in banning the use of bullhooks because of the pain that their use inflicts on 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.”


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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