Shenango Valley Mall Rejects Exhibits That Chain and Beat Animals Into Performing

PETA Sends Shopping Center Box of Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates as Thanks for Its Compassionate Decision

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hermitage, Pa.

A box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way from PETA to Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage after the venue committed to not hosting circuses and other animal exhibits, which force animals to perform tricks under threat of being beaten, gouged, or shocked with electric prods. Previously, the shopping center had hosted the Kelly Miller Circus, which travels with a solitary elephant, Anna Louise, who was captured as a calf from Zimbabwe. While elephants are extremely social animals who live in large family groups in nature, Anna Louise has not had a companion of her own species for nearly 30 years.

“A life of being dragged around the country in shackles and constantly beaten to perform tricks is no life at all for elephants and other highly sensitive, intelligent animals,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “As audiences nationwide turn away from circuses that still force animals to perform, PETA is urging other companies to follow in Shenango Valley Mall’s compassionate and business-savvy footsteps by prohibiting all animal acts.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that elephants, lions, bears, and other wild animals used in circuses and other exhibits are often torn away from their mothers as babies and confined to filthy cages or boxcars for up to 23 hours a day. Trainers force these animals to perform confusing and uncomfortable tricks by whipping, shocking, or gouging them with bullhooks—weapons with a sharp metal hook on one end. Animals used for entertainment commonly suffer from chronic health problems as well as psychological disorders—including neurotic behavior such as swaying, bar-biting, and self-mutilation—and die prematurely.

Shenango Valley Mall joins more than 600 malls nationwide—including all venues owned by General Growth Properties, Macerich, and Simon Property Group—that have banned animal displays.

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