Tag Archives: Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey circus

Helping abused animals – always in style!

In the arena basement, to be chained up – again.

Ringling’s demise closes a chapter in the campaign to help animals

By CircusesHurtAnimals.com (formerly Daniel Carron)

After a grueling trip in cramped, fetid boxcars, the elephants had been unchained and unloaded near a noisy coal pier and were being marched almost 5 miles through the city to the arena in which Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus would be performing.

Asha kept falling behind, but the trainer didn’t care. Throughout the entire march, he yanked on her ear with a bullhook — a heavy, steel-tipped weapon that circus trainers use to “break” elephants’ spirits — and kept saying, “Asha, keep up! Asha, keep up!” All I wanted to do was tell her that she could stop, that she didn’t have to suffer like that.

When I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about Asha being led into the arena basement to be chained up again. That was her life: the train and the basement. I had to do something else besides protesting.

So I changed my name.

“CircusesHurtAnimals.com” is what tellers see on my checks and cashiers see on my credit card. It’s the name on my driver’s license, and besides spelling out my contempt for circuses that exploit animals, it almost always opens the door to conversations about the beatings and whippings that they inflict on animals to coerce them into performing.


All of us at PETA will continue to speak out against Ringling until May 21, when it finally shuts down following its shows in Uniondale, New York. After that, we’ll keep pressing the case that circuses hurt animals.

Why? Because when Ringling took elephants off the road last year, it found another way to exploit them.

Instead of being transferred to reputable sanctuaries where they could roam and socialize, the elephants were hauled to Ringling’s Florida breeding and training compound, where they spend as long as 23 painful hours a day chained to concrete floors, are threatened with bullhooks, and continue to be used — only now it’s for medical tests.

We’ll keep speaking up, because Asha was sent to a zoo in Oklahoma and because Ringling is still abusing other animals.


When tigers aren’t being paraded around a ring under threat of a whip, they’re kept in cages so small that they can barely take a single step in any direction, so they do everything — eat, drink, sleep, defecate — all in one place.

Inactivity is wrecking their health: Most are overweight and some are obese, which puts them at risk of arthritis, liver and kidney failure, and heart disease.

I’ll never forget the moment when I found out that Ringling was closing. I was cashing out and talking with a bartender about my name when I got a text from a friend that said, “You can change your name back now.” I literally shouted, “Ringling is closing!” It was all I could say. We went to another bar and celebrated with shots.

We’ll probably take champagne to Uniondale, and while I’m excited about it, I don’t have that “Our work here is done” feeling. Ringling has a history of exploiting animals, and there’s no reason to think that it will suddenly stop. We have to get the elephants and tigers and all the other animals into reputable sanctuaries.

But there’s little doubt that other animal-exploiting circuses will fall, because the biggest domino has come down— in fact, UniverSoul and Garden Bros. are already feeling the pressure.

PETA isn’t against all circuses — just the ones that use animals.

Last year, when we were protesting Ringling in Norfolk, Virginia, a family came up and looked at our posters, and the little daughter started crying. Someone gave her a stuffed elephant that we’d brought along, and that made her happy. Kids instinctively love animals, and when she found out what was happening to the animals and told her family that she didn’t want to go to the circus after all, it reminded us that people really are listening.



The bears need our help, too!!😢😢😢😢

2016 was a good year for animals

Rose rescued Cece in 2016 …  pic: R.T.

The Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street is where Rose got her Husky-Mountain Feist cross “Jett,” the late great Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever “Bailey” and beautiful brindle greyhound-lab cross “Grace.” All homeless dogs that needed to be rescued!

If you can’t adopt a homeless cat or dog – do the next best thing: VOLUNTEER on behalf of animals. There are infinite ways to help! A good place to start is  WARL (open to the public 7 days a week, noon to 4 p.m.)! To learn more and see their dogs and cats up for adoption, CLICK HERE!       – R.T.


Lots happened in 2016 besides the election

By Jennifer O’Connor

Most Americans are still feeling a bit frayed by the divisiveness of the presidential election. It’s easy to feel jaded and worn out, and many commentators are happy to see the end of 2016.

But while it was easy to get caught up in the more lurid headlines, a ton of uplifting things happened in the past year, particularly for animals used in the entertainment industry.

Let’s begin with elephants. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which has been forcing elephants to travel and perform for more than a century, pulled the animals off the road in May. They will no longer be chained up and hauled around in fetid boxcars. When a circus as big as Ringling makes a decision like that, you know the days of performing elephants are numbered.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore also made a precedent-setting decision: It will send the eight dolphins currently in its possession to a coastal sanctuary. Animal advocates around the world have called on aquariums and theme parks to stop exhibiting marine mammals—and this is the first step. Protected sea pools afford dolphins and orcas room to move around and some degree of autonomy and self-determination. They’re able to see, sense and communicate with their wild cousins and other ocean animals — and they finally get to feel the tides and waves and have the opportunity to engage in the kinds of behavior that they’ve long been denied.

SeaWorld is starting to see the writing on the wall. In May, the corporation announced that it would stop breeding future generations of orcas, who would have to spend their lives in cramped tanks. But kind people everywhere are calling on the corporation to release all its animals into coastal sanctuaries. As the public’s condemnation of captive marine mammal displays continues to grow, there’s little doubt that protected sea pens are the wave of the future.

Travel giant TripAdvisor recognized the trend towards compassionate tourism and stopped selling tickets to most excursions using animals for entertainment, including cruel “swim with dolphins” programs, elephant rides and tiger photo ops. Since many facilities dupe visitors into believing that they’re helping animals, many vacationers unwittingly support cruelty by patronizing them. But by informing travelers about the dark underside of these excursions and refusing to offer them, TripAdvisor’s new policy will have a very real impact on animal exploitation in tourist traps.

Nearly a half-dozen roadside zoos — where animals suffered in filthy, ramshackle cages — closed their doors in 2016. Families are turning their backs on exhibits in which bears are confined to concrete pits and tigers pace in fetid pens.

But progress for animals hasn’t been limited to the U.S. In Argentina, a judge found that Cecilia, a chimpanzee languishing in a Mendoza zoo, isn’t a “thing” but rather a sentient being who is “subject to nonhuman rights” — and ordered that she be sent to a sanctuary. Countries as disparate as Norway and Iran banned exotic-animal acts.

Argentina passed a ban on greyhound racing, sparing countless dogs a short, grim life in the “sport.” India’s Supreme Court upheld a ban on a cruel pastime called jallikattu—in which bullocks are raced and often struck with whips and nail-studded sticks to make them run faster. And the annual Toro de la Vega “festival” — in which a young bull is chased through the streets of Tordesillas, Spain, and stabbed with darts and spears — was banned.

While 2016 was a good year for animals, there’s always more to be done. We all have the power to spare animals pain and suffering in the year ahead—and beyond—simply by making kind choices about what we do for entertainment.

Ringling is coming to town this weekend. Tigers jumping through fire-laced hoops …

… elephants Chained inside filthy, poorly ventilated train boxcars, usually for an ENTIRE DAY and then some! –  26 consecutive HOURS!

You know how InCity Times feels about Ringling! We sense you feel the same way: This wild animal concentration camp on wheels  MUST END NOW!!!! PLEASE boycott this circus and all traveling shows that use wild animals!!!!!


Learn More About Ringling Bros. Cruelty! Click on blue text for even more information!

– R. Tirella

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is known for its long history of abusing animals. In 1929, John Ringling ordered the execution of a majestic bull elephant named Black Diamond after the elephant killed a woman who had been in the crowd as he was paraded through a Texas city. Twenty men took aim and pumped some 170 bullets into Black Diamond’s body, then chopped off his bullet-ridden head and mounted it for display in Houston, Texas. Ringling’s cruel treatment of animals continues today.

Elephants in Ringling’s possession are chained inside filthy, poorly ventilated boxcars for an average of more than 26 straight hours—and often 60 to 70 hours at a time—when the circus travels. Even former Ringling employees have reported that elephants are routinely abused and violently beaten with bullhooks (an elephant-training tool that resembles a fireplace poker), in order to force them to perform tricks.

Since 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling numerous times for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), such as the following:

  • Improper handling of dangerous animals
  • Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including an elephant with a large swelling on her leg, a camel with bloody wounds, and a camel injured on train tracks
  • Causing trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, and unnecessary discomfort to two elephants who sustained injuries when they ran amok during a performance
  • Endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures
  • Failure to test elephants for tuberculosis
  • Unsanitary feeding practices

At least 30 elephants, including four babies, have died since 1992, including an 8-month-old baby elephant named Riccardo who was destroyed after he fractured his hind legs when he fell from a circus pedestal. Elephants are not the only animals with Ringling to suffer tragic deaths. In 2004, a 2-year-old lion died of apparent heatstroke while the circus train crossed the Mojave Desert.

To learn more about Ringling’s lengthy history of abusing animals and deceiving the public, read PETA’s Ringling Bros. factsheet (PDF).

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