May 292017

As Ringling Bros. finally closes its doors forever this week, a recent undercover investigation offers a heartbreaking reminder that many animals are still being abused and exploited by circuses across the U.S.

The investigator witnessed violent treatment toward tigers — including one instance of a trainer whipping a tiger 31 times in less than two minutes.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released the investigation, which focused on ShowMe Tigers, a traveling tiger act owned by Ryan Easley. The act is used in circuses around the country, including Carden and Shrine Circuses.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

According to the investigator, the tigers were confined to 13-square foot cages while traveling — where they slept, ate and had to relieve themselves. They were never let out, except to perform, or provided with a chance to exercise.

While the investigator was present, the tigers’ exercise cage was never even unloaded from the trailer. Out of 22 days on the road, five of the tigers were denied food, and at least one tiger was denied veterinary care for an open wound on her face.

“Ryan Easley utilizes archaic training methods which entail fear, force and punishment. In my professional opinion, the tigers at ShowMe Tigers are suffering from psychological neglect and trauma on a daily basis,” said Jay Pratte, an animal-behavior expert, trainer, and wildlife consultant with 25 years of experience.

The HSUS has since filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is urging the agency to investigate violations of the Animal Welfare Act and take action, but there are still many others who need help.

“While it’s true that Ringling is going out of business, other circuses are still operating and using inhumane methods of handling wild animals. There’s no excuse or rationale for whipping tigers or other wild animals for these silly performances. All circuses should end their wild animal acts,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS.

Fortunately, as the public continues to turn against this mistreatment of animals, many countries around the world have put an end to using them as performers and there’s hope the U.S. will soon act on their behalf.

The recently reintroduced Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSA) would finally end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses across the U.S. for good, and send a powerful message that there’s nothing entertaining about watching some of the earth’s most iconic species being forced to perform ridiculous and uncomfortable tricks for our profit and amusement.


You can help by signing and sharing the petition urging Congress to pass this landmark legislation.

This article was first published by on 20 May 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether all circuses with wild animals should be closed down? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should all circuses with wild animals be closed down?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Heidrun Baar



[…] Origen: POLL: Should all circuses with wild animals be closed down? » Focusing on Wildlife […]

Anne Grice

Yes there is nothing good in these hell holes for animals! Humans are supposed to be advanced , more educated and have so many educational documentary etc so its inexcusable that these cruel trade still exist today! There is NO place for such violations to animals to perform unatural acts to appease simple minds! Even 2 year olds know this is wrong !

Carla Johnson

Yes yes yes

Bonnie Labrack Buckman


Irene Smith


Renujunglebook Renu Vig

Yes the proper place for tigers is jungle

Diana Lynn Shaffer Mcmanus


Berend Jan de Leeuw


Linda Phillips Martin


Eileen Ann Flatt


Isabel Esteve Bertomeu

vote YES and shared of course !!

Martine Camus

I hope soon !

Nancy Myhal


Marek AF

yes … but what will come of the animals if their “owners” can’t make money off them?
They’ll likely be put down or abandoned.

Karen Norton

Yes defiantly!

Joann Bemer

Absolutely positively yes

Ivy Fahrer


Mary Cervantes


Linda Bauer


M Leybra

Withholding sustenance from caged animals is no more of a crime today than it was during their torture in the time Roman Empire Coliseum events. There isn’t one Govt. of one nation on this whole bloodied planet interested in raising the bar on how humanely animals they have power over are treated.

Pauline St.Denis


Bernadine Applegate


Nancy Conney

Please stop the abuse of our wildlife, it is not entertainment, they can’t speak, we have to speak for them

Glenda Randall Griffin


Phyllis Crawford


Kathleen Flynn Wozniak


Patricia Mazzoni


Tracy Whitcomb


Vikki Tenbey


Sharmila Kumar


Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Circus berserkus
the circus is in town, what do you see?
as i look out at you, and you look in at me
do you see me as a large, roaring captive toy,
or do you look into my eyes, just know pain, no joy.
do you giggle and point as you mill around my cage,
in my terror annoint as i seethe in rage.
do you not understand that my roar is a shout:
open up the cage door and let me out

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Ken Billington you are very welcome and thank you..wildlife needs our voices to be spoken and heard <(") <3

Ken Billington

Karen, you have excelled once again with your “Wildlife Poetry”. Thanks for sharing your topical and descriptive verses with our readers.

Michaela Habig


Tara Wikramanayake

Wild animals should remain in their natural habitat and not used to entertain human beings.

Lindsay Leclair



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