Save Circus Elephants from Cruel Working Conditions


Target: Terrance S. Fulton, Potentate for the Rameses Shriners Organization

Goal: Prevent elephants from performing in upcoming circus events under inhumane, brutal working conditions

The Tarzan Zerbini Circus has been accused of animal cruelty on more than two dozen separate occasions. Recently, it announced a summer touring schedule in which elephants will perform in Toronto, Canada for the Rameses Shriners organization. Despite an extensive history of Animal Welfare Act violations dating as far back as 1990, the Tarzan Zerbini Circus still manages to incorporate animals in many of its performances.

PETA reports very grim and startling news regarding the welfare of elephants left in the circus’ “care.” According to PETA, one particularly harsh treatment included “…keeping elephants in an area that contained a solid waste pile 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall, allowing waste to flow into a pond that the elephants had direct access to…” The horror doesn’t stop there. Further reports indicate that the Tarzan Zerbini Circus had failed on multiple occasions to safely house its elephants, leaving many of them to develop Tuberculosis in a serious 2011 incident. In addition to poor spacing and inadequate perimeter fencing, elephants are routinely chained for extended durations, and they are even subjected to physical abuse. In one 1999 incident, a drunken trainer severely beat one of the elephants.

The inhumane living conditions combined with almost consecutive yearly health citations by the USDA should be enough to shut down the circus altogether. Nonetheless, the organization manages to employ, house, and train these elephants with a shockingly robust touring schedule. Sign the following petition to keep these elephants from touring in Toronto, Canada—this is the first step toward removing them from the imprisonment of cruel circuses altogether.


Dear Mr. Fulton,

You have the unique opportunity to spare many circus elephants from pain and mistreatment. The Tarzan Zerbini Circus has recently announced its summer touring schedule. The organization which you oversee, the Rameses Shriners, are among the many guests that this circus is slated to entertain while in Canada. What you may not be aware of, however, are the cruel working conditions the circus elephants will be subjected to if they are allowed to perform.

The Tarzan Zerbini Circus has been cited more than 24 times for harsh treatment of its elephants. It is not uncommon for the elephants to be tightly chained when not in training, kept in the same room as their own feces and waste, or severely beaten by drunken circus trainers. This neglect and abuse isn’t limited to the past few years, either—the circus has a history of animal rights violations dating back to the 1990s. Despite multiple health citations from different animal and health organizations, the Tarzan Zerbini Circus continues to employ elephants in its performances.

While you are not directly responsible for the fair treatment and care of these majestic creatures, you have the chance to make a truly powerful statement. Please, require the Tarzan Zerbini Circus to exclude these elephants from the rest of its summer shows. Send a message that animal abuse is not okay, and that you value the lives of these creatures more than the tricks they have to offer.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. paula eaton says:

    Remove all the animals from this abusive circus. Make them pay for medical bills, rehab. Send them to legit sanctuaries and have the circus owners pay for their upkeep. The circus owners and any abusive employee needs jail time for their cruelty.

  2. Tim Johnston says:

    There are some incredible human beings capable of performing and providing us entertainment BY THEIR OWN CHOICE There is absolutely no need to abuse animals to create so called entertainment .Only support Circuses without animals .

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