Target: Governor of Yucatan Rolando Zapata Bello
Goal: Bring horrifically abusive circus staff to justice
In March 2014, Mexican authorities seized six wild animals from Harley Circus. Inspectors from the Federal Bureau for Environmental Protection conducted a surprise operation on the circus in Dzidzantun, Yucatan. One tiger, lion, bear, and three monkeys were successfully rescued, but all the animals showed appalling evidence of long-term abuse. The Bengal tiger’s limbs were deformed, the African lion’s claws and teeth were broken, and all three Spider monkeys’ teeth were ripped out. The black bear suffered massive hair loss and its lower jaw had been completely removed. Inspectors learned that the circus’ owner made the bear dance with a veil over its face to cover the shocking injury from audiences.
In addition to subjecting the animals to severe abuse, the circus manager did not have legal papers of origin for any of the animals, leading the inspectors to believe that they were acquired “in situations against the dignified and respectful treatment of wildlife.” Thankfully, the animals have been moved to United for the Promotion of Conservation and Sustainable use of Wildlife in Merida and will receive intensive medical care. Erika Ortigoza Vazquez, the director and legal representative of the rescue unit, states that the animals will be rehabilitated physically and mentally to help them “regain their wild” nature. As for now, the black bear has been renamed “Invictus,” which is Latin for “unconquered.” The name is connected to William Ernest Henley’s popular poem in which the speaker declares his strength during times of adversity. Invictus the black bear is currently recovering from a surgery that replaced his missing lower jaw with a titanium prosthesis. He is expected to make a full recovery and be able to chew food again.
The circus manager was only ordered to pay a penalty fee and have his animals confiscated. Please sign this petition to demand the Mexican government to enact a harsher punishment to ensure that Harley Circus will never be able to operate ever again.
Dear Governor Bello,
Harley Circus is a horrific operation that needs to be shut down permanently. Simply confiscating the animals and forcing the owner to pay a fee is a mere slap on the wrist compared to what these abused animals had suffered through for many years.
I urge you to carry out a harsher punishment on the individuals who managed the circus and disfigured these innocent animals. Make an example out of these abusers with a jail sentence or at least prevent them from obtaining more animals in the future. Ignoring the issue will only lead to more suffering.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lectormx via Lectormx News