PETA Offers $5,000 Reward for Information About Alleged Ringling Tiger Beating

PETA Offers $5,000 Reward for Information About Alleged Ringling Tiger Beating

Witness Reports That Circus Trainers Whipped a Tiger Until the Animal Collapsed

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2010

RaeLeann Smith 757-622-7382

Atlanta — PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for truthful information leading to the issuance of a citation, warning, or stipulation or to the opening of a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation in connection with the alleged whipping of a tiger by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus employees at Atlanta’s Philips Arena on February 18. According to a whistleblower, Ringling trainers repeatedly and violently whipped the tiger until the animal collapsed on the floor and lost control of his bowels.

The complaint mentioned that several people–some of whom may have been arena employees–witnessed the beating. PETA is urging these witnesses to come forward.

“The animals can’t stand up for themselves, so it’s crucial for people who have information to do the right thing and speak out,” says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. “Ringling and other circuses that use animals routinely use bullhooks, electric shock prods, and whips to force tigers and elephants to perform frightening and even dangerous tricks, which is why we implore the public never to patronize these cruel businesses.”

Animal beatings are nothing new to Ringling. Video footage taken backstage at Ringling last summer shows animal handlers and trainers whipping tigers and gouging elephants with sharp, steel-tipped bullhooks. PETA has also revealed dozens of never-before-seen photos taken inside Ringling’s Florida training center by a veteran elephant handler. The photos expose how still-nursing baby elephants are captured with ropes and dragged away from their mothers. The babies scream and struggle frantically as they are slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods.

Broadcast-quality video of Ringling employees abusing animals is available. For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site

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