Tag Archives: tiger

Circuses: three rings of abuse!

From PETA.ORG

We have not given up the fight! Please educate yourself! Please keep your kids away from shows that “showcase” wild animals. Please check out our FACEBOOK PAGE on circuses (to the right – just click on the words!) to learn, connect and ACT!  No more animal cruelty!  – R. Tirella

Although some children dream of running away to join the circus, it is a safe bet that most animals forced to perform in circuses dream of running away from the circus. Colorful pageantry disguises the fact that animals used in circuses are captives who are forced—under threat of punishment—to perform confusing, uncomfortable, repetitious, and often painful acts. Circuses would quickly lose their appeal if more people knew about the cruel methods used to train the animals as well as the cramped confinement, unacceptable travel conditions, and poor treatment that they endure—not to mention what happens to them when they “retire.”

A Life Far Removed From Home
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus boasts that it “travels 30,000 miles for 11 months, and visits more than 140 cities in North America!”(1) Because circuses are constantly traveling from city to city, animals’ access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care is often inadequate. The animals, most of whom are quite large and naturally active, are forced to spend most of their lives in the cramped, barren cages and trailers used to transport them, where they have only enough room to stand and turn around. Most animals are allowed out of their cages only during the short periods when they must perform. Elephants are kept in leg shackles that prevent them from taking more than one step in any direction. The minimum requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) are routinely ignored.

The lives of baboons, chimpanzees, and other primates used in circuses are a far cry from those of their wild relatives, who live in large, close-knit communities and travel together for miles each day across forests, savannahs, and hills. Primates are highly social, intelligent, and caring animals who suffer when deprived of companionship. Like all animals used in entertainment, primates do not perform unless they are forced to—often by inflicting beatings and imposing solitary confinement. After watching video footage of baboons in a traveling circus called “Baboon Lagoon,” Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research in Kenya, said, “[T]raining most baboons to do tricks of the sort displayed is not trivial … it is highly likely that it required considerable amounts of punishment and intimidation.”(2)

During the off-season, animals used in circuses may be housed in traveling crates or barn stalls— some are even kept in trucks. Such interminable confinement has harmful physical and psychological effects on animals. These effects are often indicated by unnatural forms of behavior such as repeated head-bobbing, swaying, and pacing.(3)

The tricks that animals are forced to perform—such as when bears balance on balls, apes ride motorcycles, and elephants stand on two legs—are physically uncomfortable and behaviorally unnatural. The whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other tools used during circus acts are reminders that the animals are being forced to perform. These “performances” teach audiences nothing about how animals behave under normal circumstances.

Beaten Into Submission
Physical punishment has always been the standard training method for animals in circuses. Animals are beaten, shocked, and whipped to make them perform—over and over again—tricks that make no sense to them. The AWA allows the use of bullhooks, whips, electrical shock prods, or other devices by circus trainers. Trainers drug some animals to make them “manageable” and surgically remove the teeth and claws of others.

Video footage shot during a PETA undercover investigation of Carson & Barnes Circus showed Carson & Barnes’ animal-care director, Tim Frisco, as he viciously attacked, yelled and cursed at, and shocked endangered Asian elephants. Frisco instructed other elephant trainers to beat the elephants with a bullhook as hard as they could and to sink the sharp metal bullhook into the animals’ flesh and twist it until they screamed in pain. The videotape also showed a handler who used a blowtorch to remove elephants’ hair as well as chained elephants and caged bears who exhibited stereotypic behaviors caused by mental distress.

Cole Bros. Circus, formerly known as “Clyde Beatty–Cole Bros. Circus,” has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for animal welfare violations. According to congressional testimony given by former Beatty-Cole elephant keeper Tom Rider, “[I]n White Plains, N.Y., when Pete did not perform her act properly, she was taken to the tent and laid down, and five trainers beat her with bullhooks.” Rider also told officials that “[a]fter my three years working with elephants in the circus, I can tell you that they live in confinement and they are beaten all the time when they don’t perform properly.”(4)

Former Ringling Bros. employees have reported that elephants are routinely abused and violently beaten with bullhooks. Archele Hundley, who was an animal trainer with Ringling Bros., says that she worked with the company for three months and quit after she allegedly saw a handler ram a bullhook into an elephant’s ear for refusing to lie down. Ringling Bros. “believes that if they can keep these animals afraid, they can keep them submissive,” Hundley said. “This is how they train their employees to handle these animals.”(5)

In 2009, PETA recorded Ringling Bros. employees for many months and in numerous U.S. states. Eight employees, including the head elephant trainer and the animal superintendent, were videotaped backstage repeatedly hitting elephants in the head, trunk, ears, and other sensitive body parts with bullhooks and other cruel training devices just before the animals would enter the arena for performances. A tiger trainer was videotaped beating tigers during dress rehearsals. Video footage from the investigation can be viewed at RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.

In lieu of a USDA hearing, Feld Entertainment, Inc. (the parent company of Ringling Bros.), agreed to pay an unprecedented $270,000 fine for violations of the AWA that allegedly occurred between June 2007 and August 2011.(6)

Animals Rebel
These intelligent captive animals sometimes snap under the pressure of constant abuse. Others make their feelings abundantly clear when they get a chance. Flora, an elephant who had been forced to perform in a circus and was later moved to the Miami Zoo, attacked and severely injured a zookeeper in front of visitors.(7) As Florida police officer Blayne Doyle—who shot 47 rounds into Janet, an elephant who ran amok with three children on her back at the Great American Circus in Palm Bay—noted, “I think these elephants are trying to tell us that zoos and circuses are not what God created them for … but we have not been listening.”(8)

What You Can Do
As more people become aware of the cruelty involved in forcing animals to perform, circuses that use animals are finding fewer places to set up their big tops. The use of animals in entertainment has already been restricted or banned in cities across the U.S. and in countries worldwide. For instance, Bolivia, Greece, Israel, Peru, and Sweden have banned the use of all animals in circuses, and Britain has prohibited the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.(9,10)

Take your family to see only animal-free circuses, such as Cirque du Soleil. PETA can provide you with literature to pass out to patrons if a circus that uses animals comes to your town. Find out about state and local animal protection laws, and report any suspected violations to authorities. Contact PETA for information on ways to get an animal-display ban passed in your area.

References
1) Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “Circus Figures: The Numbers Behind ‘The Greatest Show on Earth,’” Feld Entertainment, Inc., 2007.
2) Robert Sapolsky, letter to PETA, June 2004.
3) Randi Hutter Epstein, “Circus Life Drives Animals Insane, Two British Rights Groups Contend,” The Associated Press, 24 Aug. 1993.
4) Tom Rider, testimony, legislative hearing on H.R. 2929, 13 June 2000.
5) Ira Kantor, “Bill Would Outlaw Hooks Used on Elephants,” The Milford Daily News 17 Oct. 2007.
6) Leigh Remizowski, “USDA Fines Ringling Bros. Circus Over Treatment of Animals,” CNN.com, 29 Nov. 2011.
7) NBC 6 News Team, “Elephant Who Attacked Handler Was Circus Star,” NBC6.net, 17 Dec. 2002.
8) Louis Sahagun, “Elephants Pose Giant Dangers,” Los Angeles Times 11 Oct. 1994.
9) Sydney Azari, “Greece Bans Animal Circuses,” Bikya Masr 10 Feb. 2012.
10) Fred Attewill, “Travelling Circuses Banned From Using Wild Animals in Shows,” Metro 1 Mar. 2012.

Read more: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/animals-used-entertainment-factsheets/circuses-three-rings-abuse/#ixzz2wcJX6OiJ

 

GRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

Slots,  dead terrorists and now … the circus! Worcester just keeps getting shit on! I was driving down Southbridge Street today and lo and behold … up on the railroad tracks were all the Barnum and Bailey circus cars. The circus has come to Worcester – again! Scores of box cars, all brightly painted, all containing beautiful wild animals – like ovens on wheels. NO air conditioning in these box cars! No windows even. Lions and tigers etc have been known to cook to death in these death traps.

STOP TORTURING WILD ANIMALS!!!

WHY CAN’T THE WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL GROW THE BALLS NEEDED TO BAN EXOTIC ANIMALS FROM THE CITY?! Not circuses, just wild animals that do not belong in tu tus, costumes, pens, chains, city hall common!

We will be working on protests, articles, etc … LIKE WE HAVE BEEN DOING for more than 10 years.

THIS BREAKS MY HEART!

– R. Tirella

LEARN MORE! From PETA:

Circuses

Bears, elephants, tigers, and other animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. They don’t perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they perform them because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.

For animals in circuses, there is no such thing as “positive reinforcement”—only varying degrees of punishment and deprivation. To force them to perform these meaningless and physically uncomfortable tricks, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade.

In the Ringling Bros. circus, elephants are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until bloody. Ringling breaks the spirit of elephants when they’re vulnerable babies who should still be with their mothers. Unsuspecting parents planning a family trip to the circus don’t know about the violent training sessions with ropes, bullhooks, and electric shock prods that elephants endure. Heartbreaking photos reveal how Ringling Bros. circus trainers cruelly force baby elephants to learn tricks, and it’s not through a reward system, as they claim.

 

CRUEL TRAINING

Circuses easily get away with routine abuse because no government agency monitors training sessions. Undercover video footage of animal training sessions has shown that elephants are beaten with bullhooks and shocked with electric prods, big cats are dragged by heavy chains around their necks and hit with sticks, bears are whacked and prodded with long poles, and chimpanzees are kicked and hit with riding crops. Carson & Barnes trainers have even been documented using blowtorches on elephants.

CONSTANT CONFINEMENT

Constant travel means that animals are confined to boxcars, trailers, or trucks for days at a time in extremely hot and cold weather, often without access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care. Elephants, big cats, bears, and primates are confined to cramped and filthy cages in which they eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate—all in the same place.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus boasts that its three units travel more than 25,000 miles as the circus tours the country for 11 months each year. Ringling’s own documents reveal that on average, elephants are chained for more than 26 hours straight and are sometimes continually chained for as many as 60 to 100 hours. Tigers and lions usually live and travel in cages that provide barely enough room for the animals to turn around, often with two big cats crammed into a single cage. In July 2004, Clyde, a young lion traveling with Ringling, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus was crossing the Mojave Desert, where temperatures reached at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Clyde likely died a miserable death from heatstroke and dehydration. Previously, two tigers with Ringling injured themselves while attempting to escape from their cages in an overheated boxcar.

PUBLIC DANGER

Frustrated by years of beatings, bullhooks, and shackles, some elephants snap. And when an elephant rebels against a trainer’s physical dominance, trainers cannot protect themselves—let alone the public.

In 1994, an elephant named Tyke killed her trainer and injured 12 spectators before being gunned down while running terrified through downtown Honolulu (she was shot almost 100 times). In 1992, Officer Blayne Doyle was forced to shoot and kill Janet, an elephant who charged out of the Great American Circus arena with five children on her back.

In more than 35 dangerous incidents since 2000, elephants have bolted from circuses, run amok through streets, crashed into buildings, attacked members of the public, and killed and injured handlers. …

To read more, click here!

Southwick’s tiger and animal sanctuaries

By Rosalie Tirella

The story in the T & G re: Southwick’s getting a truck-load of raw meat for its big cats – and their photo of a tiger eating the “gift” – was depressing. It was a humiliating story/picture- everything that good people are against: Southwick’s and their pretend “animal sanctuary” label and the degradation of gorgeous wild animals who should be hunting and living and procreating in the wilds of Africa or Asia.

Let me tell you about Southwick’s Zoo: They have been shut down by the govt many a times, mostly for the poor housing they provide their wild animals. It used to be called (correctly) “Southwick’s Wild Animal Farm” – a much more honest name to describe exactly what it is: Wild animals that are born to roam hundreds of miles in a week crammed into fenced/penned-in areas.

About 12 years ago, I went down to Southwick’s to do some investigating. I found a chimp (some of the brightest animals on earth) sitting on a bale of hay in a “pretend” cricus car. I cried.

Then: a wasted (utterly skin and bones) lion lying on concrete in the middle of the place. A small fenced in area, like a playground was its “home.” I cried again.

I tried to get a story going – to no avail (which is one of the reasons I started InCity Times a few years later – so I could write about all the animals that I love so much!). But then one of the Boston TV stations received a complaint re: Southwicks, did an investigation and the place was shut down by officials. The govt demanded that the animals living areas (I won;t call them habitats) be more humane. Southwicks built better quarters (not by much) and in a savvy marketing move changed their name.

Cruel, cruel, money-grubbing Southwick’s!

Here is more information on places like Southwick’s that go parading as animal “sanctuaries” but are in fact hell holes for wild animals. Even the best zoos are mere theater – the animals “habitats” are painted/fake rocks, fake foliage a few real trees. It is all made to look like the animals’ natural habitat, when it all really smoke and mirrors set up for zoo visitors.

Why trap a beautiful thing to shove it away somewhere in a cage away from everything it loves? Everything that God intended it to be?

Please boycott Southwick’s this spring and summer! Families, take your kids to other places during vaca times! Here’s the PETA piece:
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When an animal ‘sanctuary’ isn’t

By Dan Paden

Acquiring an animal means making a lifetime commitment. But what if illness, economic hardship or some other unforeseen circumstance forces you to give up a cherished animal companion? Many well-meaning people unwittingly turn to pseudo-sanctuaries that promise loving care for their animals, but as a new PETA undercover investigation reveals, giving animals away to strangers—even those who make big promises on polished websites and national TV and have celebrity endorsements—is never an acceptable option.

Caboodle Ranch, Inc., was a self-proclaimed “cat rescue sanctuary” in Florida that claimed to give cats “everything they will ever need to live a happy healthy life.” PETA’s investigation found that the “ranch” was essentially a one-person “no-kill” operation that subjected some 500 cats to filth, crowding and chronic neglect.

Cats at Caboodle were denied veterinary care for widespread upper-respiratory infections and other ailments. Obviously ill cats with green and brown discharge draining from their eyes, noses and mouths were allowed to spread infection to other cats. During the course of PETA’s investigation, some cats died of seemingly treatable conditions.

Some cats, like Lilly, whose iris protruded through a ruptured cornea, were left to suffer month after month. PETA’s investigator offered to take Lilly to a veterinarian, but Caboodle’s founder refused, apparently scared that he might “get in trouble” if a cat in Lilly’s condition were seen by others. Lilly eventually died after months of neglect.

Cats are fastidiously clean animals, but at Caboodle they were forced to use filthy, fly-covered litterboxes. Maggots gathered in cats’ food bowls and covered medications and food kept in a refrigerator inside a dilapidated trailer teeming with cockroaches. Cats frequently escaped the ranch, putting the surrounding community’s animals at risk of disease. Prompted by PETA’s evidence, officials seized Caboodle’s animals, and its founder and operator faces cruelty-to-animals charges.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this case is that it is not an isolated incident. In 2011, a PETA investigation revealed often fatal neglect of disabled, elderly and ailing animals at Angel’s Gate, a self-proclaimed animal “hospice and rehabilitation center” in New York. Our investigator documented that animals were allowed to suffer, sometimes for weeks, without veterinary care. Paralyzed animals dragged themselves around until they developed bloody ulcers. Other animals developed urine scald after being left in diapers for days. Angel’s Gate’s founder was recently arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.

In another case, in South Carolina, some 300 cats were kept caged, most for 24 hours a day, in an unventilated storage facility crammed with stacks of crates and carriers. PETA’s investigator found that the operator of this hellhole, Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary, knowingly deprived suffering cats of veterinary care—including those plagued with seizures, diabetes and wounds infected down to the bone. When Sacred Vision’s owner was asked if sick animals could be taken to a veterinarian for help at no cost to her, she refused, instead attempting to doctor the suffering animals on her own. The cats in that case were seized by authorities, and the owner, who was in the midst of sending about 30 of her cats to Caboodle as authorities closed in on her, now faces cruelty charges.

Our animals count on us to do what’s best for them at all times. Unfortunately, there will always be purported “rescues” and “sanctuaries” that deceive people into giving them unwanted animals, who are often left to languish and die, terrified and alone. PETA’s files are full of letters from people grief-stricken over having left animals at these hellholes.

If you truly have no choice but to part with your animals because of circumstances beyond your control, try to enlist trusted friends and family to care for them temporarily until your situation improves. If no other suitable arrangement can be made, taking animals to a well-run open-admission shelter is the kindest option.

Whatever you do, never, under any circumstances, simply hand off unwanted or sick animals to a smooth-talking stranger and hope for the best. The animal companions you love so dearly will pay for it with their lives. And you will be left with a broken heart full of regret.

Dan Paden is a senior research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.