Stop Hosting Cruel Animal Circus Acts

Target: Gary J. Bergenske, Imperial Potentate, Shriners International

Goal: Require all Shrine Circus acts to be animal-free in light of the deaths of circus tigers on the road.

Two tigers who were being used for circus performances by the notorious exhibitor Hawthorn Corporation died within a month of each other, allegedly on the company’s watch. One of the tigers, named Prince, became hypothermic while traveling and had to be euthanized. The other, Munia, also died on the road, after trainers said they were not able to contact a veterinarian, and Hawthorn reportedly refused to allow a necropsy.

According to PETA, “dozens of tigers have died on Hawthorn’s watch.” The company has received citations and fines for confining tigers to cramped cages and failing to provide necessary veterinary care. It even made headlines when a truck driver reportedly checked into a motel after getting a flat, and left the animals unattended in the truck overnight. It is clear that it is not just the exploitation of forcing animals to perform that is cruel, but also the travel and transport.

Shriners International’s Shrine Circus, which is a major event in 120 cities every year in the U.S. alone, uses tigers provided by the Hawthorn Corporation. PETA has sent a letter to the Hejaz Shriners, asking them to stop supporting this abuse by no longer hosting circuses with animal acts. Sign below to take this urgent request further, and demand that all shrine circuses stop using wild animals.


Dear Imperial Potentate Bergenske,

The company that provides tigers for the Shrine Curcus, the Hawthorn Corporation, has shown its cruelty time and again, this time in the tragic deaths of two tigers within a month of each other. These innocent animals are not only exploited for performance but also exposed to inhumane conditions on the road — both of these tigers died in transit.

The Shriners are supporting this animal abuse by continuing to do business with Hawthorn, which has reportedly accrued hundreds of thousands of dollars in USDA penalties and whose license has been suspended not once but twice in the past. Please take a stand to protect these innocent animals. I urge you to ban animal acts from shrine circus performances.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tim Evanson

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  1. This hawthorn corporation must be put out of their cruel business and in most educated countries they would have been. Put them out of business and and save some of the most iconic animals in the world.

  2. As more and more people learn about the animal abuse that happens at circuses, the less people want to participate circuses. It’s best that you drop your animal acts and to retire the animal to reputable sanctuaries.



  5. the shriners are nothing but cruelty with a capital these animals should be banned from them and put into sanctuaries

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