Target: Moscow International Circus organizer, Cornell “Tuffy” Nicholas
Goal: Praise circus for abandoning plans to use animals in upcoming performances
Back in 1994, a performing elephant named Tyke, who had been subjected to abuse and near-constant confinement, escaped from her restraints, killing a trainer and injuring over a dozen other people. Tyke was shot almost 100 times before finally dying from her injuries. These events transpired before a scheduled circus performance at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
Twenty years later, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made an urgent request to the Moscow International Circus after learning that the circus planned to use animal performers at its upcoming shows at the Blaisdell Center. Cornell “Tuffy” Nicholas and the organizers of the Moscow International Circus listened, and they have committed to keeping the Blaisdell Center shows animal-free.
“As the world saw 20 years ago when Tyke lashed out and died bellowing on the street, forcing frustrated animals to perform in circuses can have deadly consequences,” said PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders in a statement. “PETA supporters and kind people around the world will be relieved to hear that the Moscow International Circus is putting safety and kindness first and going animal-free in Hawaii.”
It is well documented that animals forced to perform in circuses suffer physical and emotional damage as a result of aggressive training and constant confinement. According to the ASPCA, this poses a risk to not only the animals, but also the public. A statement on the ASPCA website reads, “There have been hundreds of incidents involving circus animals attacking and escaping—often resulting in property damage, injuries and death. Furthermore, there is a risk of disease. Some elephants used in circuses have been found to carry a human strain of tuberculosis, which can be easily passed on to humans.”
By deciding against using animal performers at the upcoming Blaisdell Center shows, Moscow International Circus organizers are taking a positive step toward protecting animals from future abuse. Please take a moment to thank Ringmaster & Producer Cornell “Tuffy” Nicholas for taking a stand against animal abuse.
Dear Mr. Nicholas,
I was pleased to learn that the Moscow International Circus has abandoned all plans to use performing animals at its upcoming performances at the Blaisdell Center. As you know, performing animals often suffer from physical and emotional abuse, which is believed to have led to the tragedy with Tyke the elephant at the Blaisdell Center 20 years ago.
By committing to hosting an animal-free circus performance, you are taking a stand against future abuse. Thank you for taking this important step in bettering the lives of animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mister-E via Wikimedia commons