Stop Providing Hermit Crabs as Carnival Prizes

Target: Debbie Elliot, Owner of Elliot’s Amusements, Inc.

Goal: Stop providing live hermit crabs as giveaways.

Elliot’s Amusements, Inc. provides supplies to carnivals in multiple states. One of the things the company provides is live hermit crabs that many carnivals use as prizes. Hermit crabs may be small and seem insignificant, however they are a unique and important species that should not be forced to live life in a tank.

Hermit crabs can live as long as 40 years, however in captivity they typically only live one to four years. For these few, short years, the hermit crabs are stuck in a small tank, fed an unnatural diet, roughly handled and typically live alone. In the wild, hermit crabs can travel with up to as many as 100 other hermit crabs.

Sign this petition and demand that the company stop providing carnivals with live hermit crabs. These animals belong in the wild, not in tiny tanks.


Dear Ms. Elliot,

Your company provides live hermit crabs to carnivals to use as prizes across the nation. While these animals may be small, they are an important species that does not belong in a tank.

Wild hermit crabs’ lives differ very much from the lives of their captive brothers and sisters. In the wild, hermit crabs will travel with up to 100 other crabs. However in captivity, many spend their lifetime alone. Also in captivity, these animals are fed an unnatural diet and handled roughly. In the wild, hermit crabs can live up to 40 years, however many captive hermit crabs die after only one to four years.

Please consider ending your sale of live hermit crabs. These animals belong in the wild. There are many other prizes available that would make children just as happy.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Robert Verzo

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  2. The crime is in thinking that small lives have no value.
    These complex creatures are not meant to live in isolation in captivity. Captive diet cannot replicate the required natural abundance of nutrients in the sea. Taken from their homes in the wild, they are handled roughly, confined to cramped habitats, fed improper diets and usually forgotten when the novelty wears off. These animals are doomed from the moment of capture.
    It’s time that mindless cruelty with respect to live animal giveaways is banned across the board, at fairs and all other “entertainment” venues. Living things replaced with cruelty-free prizes.

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