Tyke was an African elephant at a travelling circus in the US who had been abused for years. Like most elephants in circuses, her life consisted of endless beatings and constant confinement.
Eventually, she snapped.
On 20 August, 1994, she was forced to perform in Honolulu. This is what happened next.
Warning: upsetting footage
Tyke’s rampage killed her trainer and injured 13 other people. She collapsed and died after being shot nearly 100 times.
Animals do not deserve to live and die as Tyke did – abused, mentally and physically, until they go mad from the frustration, loneliness and pain.
There are many other stories of animals in circuses who have turned on their captors. Just last week, a teacher was mauled by a tiger at a circus in Peru. In 2013, a tiger killed his trainer during a performance at the Circo Suárez in Mexico. In 2009, a bear who was forced to ice-skate at a travelling circus in Russia killed the circus manager. These and countless other tragic examples make it horribly clear that a circus is no place for wild animals.
PETA US has just successfully campaigned to get the Moscow International Circus to leave animals out of its shows in Honolulu this year at the site of Tyke’s last performance. But for many other animals around the world, the nightmare continues.
In England and Wales, until the government implements the promised ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, it’s perfectly legal for travelling circuses to keep elephants, lions, tigers and other wild animals, carting them around in cages and forcing them to perform.
Time is running out to outlaw this cruel practice during this Parliament. Please help – urge your MP to back the ban on the use of wild animals in circuses by supporting a 10-minute-rule bill on September 3.