Statement: Moolah Shrine Ends Elephant Acts; PETA Celebrates

For Immediate Release:
January 5, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

St. Louis – Two weeks after Moolah Shriners were caught on video assaulting two nonviolent protesters—and following months of protests—the organization announced that it will no longer feature elephant acts in its circus, which had already ended the use of big cats and bears. Below, please find a statement from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman:

It took appeals from more than 60,000 PETA supporters and the bravery of peaceful protesters—who were assaulted by aggressive Shriners—but PETA is celebrating the news today that the Moolah Shrine Circus is finally giving up its elephant acts. Let this be a lesson to every other holdout Shrine that it’s time to stop fist-fighting the future and start switching to animal-free circuses that dazzle audiences with human talent.

PETA will continue to advocate on behalf of the elephants who live at the deceptively named Endangered Ark Foundation. This facility in Oklahoma is operated by Carson & Barnes Circus—a longtime partner of the Moolah Shrine Circus that has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video beating elephants. The Endangered Ark Foundation chains “retired” elephants, breeds them, and exploits them for lucrative public feeding photo ops and other forms of entertainment.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or  Instagram.

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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