Whistleblower: Animals Beaten Bloody at Garden Bros. Circus

PETA Points to Veterinarian’s Report That Elephants Suffer Physically and Psychologically at Fort Worth–Bound Circus

For Immediate Release:
September 5, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Dallas-Fort Worth

A former employee of the notorious Garden Bros. Circus—which will perform in Fort Worth this week—reported to PETA that elephants were electrically shocked backstage and left dripping blood from wounds inflicted by bullhooks, weapons that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end, among other allegations.

The whistleblower also reported that a camel used by the circus was kicked and punched and that other camels were whipped—allegations consistent with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report from earlier this year that cited a Garden Bros. exhibitor for whipping a llama onstage. The whistleblower also alleged that alligators used for photo ops routinely died after being kept inside plastic crates with their mouths taped shut, without access to water and with little access to food.

“Trainers with Garden Bros. Circus have been caught beating animals bloody and subjecting them to physical and psychological harassment,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “As the circus drags its cruel show to Fort Worth, PETA is urging everyone to stay away.”

Dr. Philip Ensley—a board-certified veterinarian with decades of experience with elephants—observed the elephants used by Garden Bros. and has released a new report finding that one elephant, named Libby, was observed swaying repeatedly, which the report calls a “sign of mental suffering.” The elephant Bunny was forced to give rides and perform, despite apparently suffering from painful arthritis, and both elephants had chipped and cracked toenails—foot problems and arthritis are the leading reasons why captive elephants are euthanized.

PETA has alerted the USDA to the whistleblower’s allegations—as well as to Dr. Ensley’s findings—and asked the agency to investigate and, as appropriate, take enforcement action against the circus and its exhibitors.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.