Tag Archives: tigers

Ringling Bros circus heads to Worcester. BOYCOTT it!

The Telegram and Gazette has it wrong! … PLEASE!  Never go to circuses that feature wild animals like elephants, tigers, lions, bears and chimps! … This article gets us all thinking …    - R. Tirella

The tragedy of Tyke continues

By Jennifer O’Connor

It’s human nature to recall in vivid detail what you were doing when shocking news broke. I was at my kitchen sink, with a small television on the counter broadcasting the news, when the story broke that Tyke, an elephant used in a traveling circus, had been gunned down on the streets of Honolulu. A full glass of water shattered on my floor as I watched the video footage in horror. It was August 20, 1994.

Police pumped 86 bullets into Tyke. This screaming elephant, covered with blood, her eyes the size of dinner plates, died in abject terror and agonizing pain. Why?

After years of chains and beatings, Tyke had snapped.

She crushed her trainer and escaped the arena into the streets of downtown Honolulu, where she charged pedestrians and smashed vehicles before finally being killed.

As devastating as her death was, there’s at least comfort in knowing that her suffering is over. The same cannot be said of the dozens of other elephants who are still being used and abused in circuses two decades after Tyke’s death.

Despite the vast amount of empirical evidence of elephants’ intelligence and emotional complexity uncovered in the last 20 years, circuses still exploit these animals as if they were nothing more than wind-up toys. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus forcibly removes baby elephants from their frantic mothers, ties them down with ropes by all four legs, threatens them with bullhooks and shocks them with electric prods to break their spirits and make them perform tricks.

Conditioned from infancy to obey commands or face the painful consequences, these dejected youngsters go through their days with no hope, no relief and no joy.

Elephants would never perform grotesquely atypical types of behavior such as headstands on command without the constant threat of punishment.

Elephants who have been captured from Asia and Africa are not uncommon here in the U.S. About half of the elephants used by Ringling, for example, were snatched from the wild and will never set foot in it again.

 Elephants truly never do forget. Their memories are extraordinary.

Elephants who were torn away from their homes and families must spend the interminable hours during which they plod in circles giving rides, pace back and forth in zoo displays or perform in circus shows dreaming of the vast savannas and lush jungles left behind.

But they will never again experience the culture and challenges of their rightful homelands. Their lives consist of loneliness and pain, bullhooks and chains.

And being born in captivity doesn’t fool elephants into believing that that’s where they belong — they know they’re missing everything that’s critical to who they are. Genetic imperatives don’t disappear just because an animal isn’t where he or she is supposed to be.

Nearly all captive elephants develop neurotic behavior, such as constantly swaying or bobbing their heads in a futile attempt to cope.

Instead of walking many miles every day, seeking out friends and visiting favorite watering holes, elephants in circuses are chained by the leg, barely able to take a single step forward or back. Most die far short of their expected life spans.

Those who want to pay homage to Tyke and all the elephants who have suffered and died in captivity will continue to turn their backs on animal circuses and other elephant exploiters.

End of the road for animal acts

By Jennifer O’Connor

The trend is undeniable: The days of hauling animals around and hurting them in the name of entertainment are quickly coming to an end. Winnipeg is the latest municipality to slam the door shut on circuses using exotic animals. Mayor Sam Katz and the Winnipeg City Council made it clear that they will no longer tolerate circus cruelty.

All around the world, cities and entire countries are banning exotic-animal circus acts. Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Paraguay and Peru have done so already, and others, including Britain and Scotland, are on the verge of doing so. Besides outright bans, many cities are saying no to the tools that circuses use to inflict pain, such as the bullhook—a heavy baton with a sharp metal hook on the end that can rip and tear elephants’ skin—and electric prods. Since circuses control animals with these cruel devices—or more accurately, attempt to control them, since so many have run amok—such prohibitions effectively keep the animals out.

Only a decade or so ago, the fabulous Cirque du Soleil was one of the few alternative circuses around. But the demand for cruelty-free entertainment has skyrocketed, and now there are more than a dozen vibrant, innovative productions touring North America that don’t exploit animals. Even consummate huckster P.T. Barnum couldn’t convince today’s informed public that beating animals and keeping them in cages and chains from birth to death is acceptable.

The empirical evidence of what life is like for animals in circuses is undeniable and readily available to the public. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, for example, paid a record $270,000 to settle multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. At least 30 elephants have died while in Ringling’s hands since 1992.

Former employees of Ringling have come forward to report egregious abuses, including forcibly removing baby elephants from their frantic mothers, tying them down by all four legs, and slamming them to the ground, surrounded by “trainers” wielding bullhooks and electric hotshots. Continue reading

It’s great …

… when this happens: You deliver your papers – two seconds later, someone has picked up a copy and is reading it! Biggest compliment you can pay this gal!

Interesting … this hardworking young man said he and his friends aren’t into circuses that use exotic animals. He frowned when he talked about them. And his buddy/co-worker (not in pic) agreed, saying the touring wild animal thing would be history within 10 years … .

It’s funny, Ringling is in town and they are downplaying the horrific way they make their dough. As if they know the end is near … . Their ads are very Cirque de Soleil: a print of a lady riding a dragon. Their theme is dragons. Bull shit. It’s elephants and tigers and … enslaving them and breaking their spirit and feeding them crap and making them experience and do everything that is totally unnatural to them. THE ANIMALS ARE NOT DOMESTICATED, LIKE HORSES OR DOGS. THEY ARE WILD – LIKE WOLVES OR COYOTES. THEY ARE BEING FORCED TO BE WITH HUMANS AND PERFORM FOR THEM. It is wrong to enslave any wild thing … .

This young guy is the new Worcester and America. The kids don’t want to enslave wild animals! The Kids Are All Right!

– R. Tirella

Worcester City Council meets tomorrow (Tues.) evening, 7 p.m., City Hall, Main Street … and a song

It’s a good time to ask our city council members to think of the elephants and tigers and lions who come to town with the circus … think of their suffering and how unnatural it is for these magnificent animals to  “perform” – for anybody.

Ask the people we vote into office to represent US to KEEP Worcester free of shows that drag wild animals into our city …

I attended last week’s city council meeting to give out elephant and wild-animal information packets to every council member. I also attended the council subcommittee meeting to make our case. I found it a wee bit uncomfortable – so different from the paper! – BUT I DID IT! You can, too! Call the Mayor’s office to get on the city council agenda. Or visit his office in City Hall – 3rd floor. OR stop by tomorrow night’s city council meeting before 7 p.m. and ask to speak to this city issue. The circus will be in town in several days … we need to take our stand. NOW!

Click here for city council agenda! - R. Tirella


Here’s a song from a great – and my fave – animal rights activist – Chrissie Hynde.

Tweaked: Join the conversation re: wild animals in circuses on Facebook

editor’s note – Revised post! OUR Facebook page is still being finessed! This is another CIRCUS Facebook page and that is OK. Visit it and learn how to make a difference in the lives of exotic animals in cirucses.

By Rosalie Tirella

If you look to the right of this post, you’ll see this photo of an elephant tethered to the ground. Click on the link below the photo and you’ll see a circus Facebook page. Read the stories! Learn more about the wild animals forced to “perform” in circuses. Discuss! THINK!!!

I was just talking with a young woman about the issue. She said she and a friend went to the Spencer Fair this past month. She said she and her friend saw goats, other farm animals and exhibits, but when they got to the elephants and other wild animlas also “exhibited,” THEY TURNED AROUND AND WALKED AWAY.  They got upset! The sight was so “sad,” this young woman reported. She said you could tell the elephants looked “uncomfortable” being there – an unnatural situation for wild animals. The goats were ok – the elephants pained …

Please work to have the City of Worcester pass an ordiance that would not allow circuses and travelling carnivals to EXHIBIT WILD ANIMALS, such as lions, tigers, chimps, elephants, bears … . We are not anti-Cirque de Soleil or the Big Apple Circus or any carnival that boasts clowns, acrobats, dancers, rides and games, etc. BUT WILD ANIMALS  – dangerous if ever “on the loose” – should not be forced to do things and live lives that are totally unnatural for them. IT’S JUST PLAIN WRONG.


BREAK THE CHAIN! We ask ALL our wonderful InCity Times readers – paper and website – to PLEASE …

… contact our city councilors to tell them YOU DON’T WANT wild animals – lions, tigers, elephants – coming to town! (THE COUNCILORS’ CONTACT NFO IS AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST!) As part of the Ringling Bros. Circus or little travelling circuses ( a few come into Worcester each year). Tell them NO WAY! Worcester does not need the $$$ – that we have plenty of entertainment in Worcester! Tell them you would gladly attend circuses that don’t use wild animals – circuses such as Cirque De Soleil, The Big Apple Circus, etc.

Tell them alpacas CAN be domesticated and are kept for wool, etc in farms in South America. Alpacas are NOT wild animals  a la lions, tigers, elephants! DO NOT fall for the smoke and mirrors peddled by the conservative rags in town!

Please call or email Mayor Joe Petty and tell him your concerns …


We have the WONDERFUL City Councilors Sarai Rivera, Konnie Lukes, Mike German and Joe O’Brien BEHIND OUR proposal! Call or email them TO THANK THEM FOR THEIR GOOD, GOOD HEARTS AND tell them you will vote for them in November. These pols – three out of the four are youngish (late 30s early 40s)  represent THE YOUTH perspective (Konnie Lukes, a lady who loves animals,  is just way cool!).

These city councilors  see THE FUTURE. REPRESENT THE FUTURE.

Reward them with your vote. AND Let’s get out the youth vote this election!

CLICK HERE for Worcester City Councilors’ addresses, etc.

Thank you!

Rosalie Tirella

Worcester City Council members bombarded with pro-circus crap …

… Check out these recent letters to our city council members from people who do not understand exotic animals and are insensitive to their plight (in circuses). Stay strong, Woo councilors. Don’t let these ill-informed people sway you. They could be on Barnum and Bailey’s payroll. At best, they are totally misinformed.

NOTE: Both letter writers are from Connecticut! Not even from Massachusetts – let alone Worcester!

ICT readers, please call/email these people and EDUCATE them! Thank you!      – R. Tirella


157 Leeder Hill Drive #102
Hamden, CT  06517
Dear Honorable Members of the Worcester, MA City Council,
It has come to our attention that there are animal rights representatives asking for a “ban” on performing animals, including circus animals, in the City of Worcester.  These folks may be well meaning but they are surely mis-guided.  Who among us does not love animals?  Who among us would tolerate the abuse of any animal?  Don’t we all learn to love and appreciate animals by way of opportunities such as the circus, zoological parks, and aquariums? ALL of which the animal protestors seek to eliminate.
We the members of the Circus Fans Association of America, in Massachusetts, and nationwide, call circus our hobby.  We are often present both in the seats and backstage as well as at quarters where animals are trained.  We enjoy life long friendships with animal handlers,  vets, and the animals themselves.  You can be assured that most circus animals enjoy happy healthy lives.  Their well being is monitored  by the USDA and there are unannounced inspections. The business of performing animals in the circus is one of the most regulated in the country.
It isn’t logical thinking to conclude that an elephant, lion, or tiger must be beaten to force it to perform.  But animal activists don’t use logic.  Theirs is an emotional opinion based on utopian point of view. They believe that all animals belong in the wild.  This hand full of protestors would also prefer we all become vegan.  Their opinion they are entitled to.  But not their own set of facts.  To “ban” the circus and it’s animals would be to ignore the opinion of the majority, to include animals, including dogs and cats, in their lives.  Animal “rights” advocates don’t believe in companion animals either, but will settle, in the meantime, for the easier target that is the circus.
Nationwide, the courts and elected officials such as yourselves are discovering that animal advocates are long on allegations and short of empirical evidence.  These people seek to rush legislation to a vote in Worcester before you have a chance to seek the facts.  The fact is that most circus animals are loved and well cared for.  Those of us who observe the industry on a regular basis, with no vested interest whatsoever, know this by way of direct observation.  We wish we had the same health plan that circus animals enjoy!
While we don’t doubt there are some well meaning folks asking you to support their performing animal ban, these folks have seen one propaganda fund raising film too many.  We hope that you will not be fooled as they have been!
Be assured, we are against the abuse of animals.  We’re quite certain you are also.  There is however a very big difference between animal “rights” and animal “welfare”.  Allow the good people of Worcester to decide for themselves whether or not to attend a circus with animals!  In any event, we would be happy to help you to separate the facts from the fiction.
Very Truly Yours,
Gary C. Payne, National President Elect
Circus Fans Association of America
Chairman – CFA Animal Welfare Committee
Letter #2

Dear (city council member),
I understand that the City Council is considering proposal to ban performing exotic circus animals.
For the 3/4 of my 67 years I have enjoyed attending circuses and have always been fascinated by the animal performances and I have been especially observant to the way they are treated during performances. I have even behind the scenes and have observed and have observed their care there. In speaking with the trainers you can sense and feel their love and dedication to these animals and you can see the fascinating interaction they have with them.
Many a time I’ve been told that they consider them true members of their family. They’ll tell you too that their care is always on-going 24/7 365 days a year.
Watching these animals perform is amazing…. if one pays attention to the trainers approach, you’ll observe that they talk to the animals to instruct them; as a matter of fact, many trainers have been “miked” for some years now so you can hear exactly what the trainer is saying to the animal and you’ll observe that the voice is calm, gentle and reassuring…. not threatening or intimidating; the same type of tone you would use when instructing a child to do something. Observing the animals you usually see them going about their routine with ease in a matter of fact way…. no effort on their part but rather that it comes about naturally.
Furthermore, the circus and performing animals industry is highly regulated by the federal government with unannounced inspections and strict criteria that they must follow.
Many of these animals are facing extinction, but with the love and dedication of these trainers, generations to come will be able to observe, learn about them and admire and appreciate these unique creatures.
Please understand that I am against animal cruelty just as much as any animal lover is, but with my own observations over these many years, I feel that most performing animals are treated with loving care and respect ( and any found guilty of mistreatment should be punished to the full extent of the law), so I respectfully ask that you vote NO on the proposal to ban performing exotic circus animals.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Jane L. Kycia
860- 296-2684

KUDOS to the Worcester City Council for …

… looking to keep elephants, lions and tigers where they belong: wild and free in Africa or India! Not in metal box cars to freeze to death in the winter or to be cooked to death in the summer, not under the big top wearing tutus or jumping through rings of fire. We all know God didn’t create these gorgeous creatures for us to debase. Worcester is on the cutting edge here. Along with Noho, Cambridge, Revere and (next year) ENGLAND. That’s right the UK. Lots of other countries are ending the cruelty – not the circuses. We still wanna see clowns and acrobats come to town … Cirque de Soleil, the Big Apple Circus. Fun shows – but exotic-animal free.  ICT has be pushing and pushing and pushing for this humane move for more than a DECADE. Several years ago our city councilors talked about economic develpment woes. Well, here it is 2013 and Worcester has tons of festivals, fairs, music fests, restaurants, a cool theater, etc, etc. We have a gazillion money-generating shows! We can afford to lose the few bucks if some circuses go away. Most families who come into Worcester to see Ringling don’t do a lot of investing in Woo. They go to the show and then stop by the Pub 99 near the main post office, eat a quick dinner, and jump on the highway and zip home. We doubt there’s a lot of economic spin off from Ringling. Except for Pub 99 – a chain. A chain that doesn’t need the money.


Let’s come together … and do the right thing! Worcester City Council leaders – and we mean LEADERS – Sarai Rivera, Mike Germain, Joe O’Brien and Konnie Lukes – understand the issue. Here’s hoping Ric Rushton, Kate Toomey and George Russell open their hearts …

Please watch these vidoes. Educate yourselves. Learn more. If you would like more info and want to be a part of our movement, please call me at 508.963.8386. Thank YOU!!!

– Rosalie Tirella

STOP THE ABUSE! Exotic animal abusers come to Douglas! Complaint filed with USDA against Kelly Miller Circus

Zebras need to be in the wild! Not whipped in a circus heading to DOUGLAS this weekend!  … We have made some sections bold. – R. Tirella


PETA Files Formal Complaint Calling On USDA to Investigate Reported Violations of Animal Welfare Act

Douglas  — Based on sworn affidavits from numerous people who report witnessing shocking animal abuse by handlers with the notoriously cruel Kelly Miller Circus which is scheduled to perform in Douglas this weekend — PETA has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for multiple and repeated apparent violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

According to the affidavits, handlers with Kelly Miller Circus were witnessed whipping zebras, including a baby zebra; whipping several tigers; forcefully striking a dog, tiger, and a baby goat on the face; and tethering animals so tightly that they could barely take a step. The reported abuse took place during the circus’s recent tour of New Jersey and one town in eastern Pennsylvania. Kelly Miller Circus has been repeatedly cited for denying veterinary care to animals, public endangerment, and numerous other serious AWA violations.

“Circuses use violence, fear, and pain to keep animals under control—and to punish them for not obeying,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA urges families to stay far away from Kelly Miller Circus and all other circuses that use animals.”

The following is just a small sample of the abuse reported by the eyewitnesses:

·         June 14, Carteret, N.J.: A handler whipped a baby zebra twice on the back of the leg, causing the animal to limp in pain.

·         June 17, Lakehurst, N.J.: A camel and several zebras were whipped, and a handler forcefully struck a small dog on the face.

·         June 19, Old Bridge, N.J.: The zebras were repeatedly whipped, and a man forcefully struck a tiger on the face.

·         June 21, Weatherly, Pa.: A camel and several zebras were tethered on ropes so tightly that they could barely move. The zebras were whipped throughout an entire performance—one with such force that the animal stumbled.

·         June 23, Township of Washington, (Bergen County), N.J.: A trainer apparently whipped tigers on the face, and the zebras were whipped throughout the show.

PETA’s complaint to the USDA is available upon request. A few of the incidents described above were caught on tape, and the videos are also available upon request. For more information, please see PETA’s factsheet.



Boycott all circuses that showcase exotic animals!

By Deb Young

The circus is supposed to be fun for everyone, right?

Wrong! Have you ever thought what the circus is like for the animals who perform in it? Sadly, they are often not treated with respect or kindness.

Spending life locked alone until it’s time to rehearse or perform and traveling from town to town is not a healthy life for exotic animals like elephants, bears, and big cats who perform in circuses.

In many circuses, animals are trained through the use of intimidation and physical abuse. Former circus employees have reported seeing animals beaten, whipped, poked with sharp objects and even burned to force them to learn their routines. They are taught that if they do not obey the animal trainer, they will be abused physically.

Many circus animals are kept in small cages, away from their natural environments. Don’t you think a Bengal tiger would have more fun running through a Himalayan forest than jumping through a hoop? Animals are likely to get sick as a result of these unnatural conditions. Many even die in captivity.

Making an animal do something he wasn’t meant to do or doesn’t want to do is a form of cruelty, too. Elephants are not meant to do balancing acts, bears aren’t meant to dance, and lions are not meant to jump through flaming hoops. It is disrespectful to make animals perform tricks for human audiences.

Would you want to be forced to perform embarrassing stunts every day, then sleep alone in a small cage at night? Circus animals should not have to, either.

Here are 6 facts you may not know about the circus:

1. Less than 100 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors are assigned to monitor the 12,000 circus-related facilities in America.

2. Trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade to force animals to perform.

3. Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the United States Animal Welfare Act.

4. On average, circuses travel about 48 weeks per year and Circus animals spend an average of 26 hours in cages, during transport.

5. Virtually 96 percent of a circus animal’s life is spent in chains or cages.

6. Repetitive and often destructive behaviors such as obsessive swaying, bobbing, chewing, sucking, weaving, rocking, and licking are common in circus animals, and are manifestations of their extreme stress and boredom.

Because of their forced immobility, circus animals may develop arthritis or other joint problems.

Do you know that you can help make a difference in the lives of animals who are forced to perform at circuses? Here’s what you can do:

Don’t go to the circus—unless it’s one that doesn’t feature any animal performers.

Most people who attend the circus aren’t aware of the abuse that goes on behind the scenes. Spread the word by writing a letter to the editor of the local paper when the circus is in the area or call a local radio station.

Learn as much as you can about the different kinds of animals who perform in circuses. Find out where and how they live in the wild. You can also find out what conservation groups are doing to help these species in the wild. Support them and tell them how much you care about these animals.

For many people, ignorance is bliss, but as facts continue to emerge, it’s harder to turn a blind eye from the abuse your paying to witness.