‘Tiger’ and ‘Elephant’ to Roar and Trumpet in Protest at Circus’s Opening Night

PETA Says That Filthy Cages, Cruel Training, and Lack of Veterinary Care Are Among Reasons for Families to Stay Away

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2017

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Jacksonville, Fla.What:    A “tiger” and an “elephant” with “tears” running down their faces will lead members of PETA and local Jacksonville group OneProtest in a spirited demonstration outside the opening-night performance of UniverSoul Circus on Thursday.

When:    Thursday, January 26, 6 p.m. sharp

Where:    Intersection of W. Forsyth and Lee streets (near the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center), Jacksonville

PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”) notes that elephant exhibitors use bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on one end—to threaten the animals into performing tricks and to beat and jab them when they hesitate. UniverSoul leases the tiger act used in its shows from Mitchel Kalmanson, who has been cited by the federal government for failing to provide animals with basic veterinary care, depriving them of the opportunity to exercise, and confining them to foul-smelling, maggot-infested trucks.

Earlier this month, Ringling Bros. circus—citing the public’s changing attitudes about its use of animals as well as a decade of declining ticket sales—announced that it will go out of business this May.

“UniverSoul Circus denies tigers, elephants, and other animals everything that’s natural and important to them—just for a few fleeting minutes of human amusement,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on families to refuse to buy a ticket to any circus that still uses animals.”

OneProtest will demonstrate each day that UniverSoul remains in Jacksonville.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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