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Help End the Suffering of Circus Elephants
3 years ago

Tyke's Death: A Tragic Reminder of Elephant Suffering in Circuses

In Defense of Animals

Nineteen years ago this week, Tyke, a 20 year old African elephant "owned" by the notorious Hawthorn Corporation, was killed on the streets of Honolulu. On August 20, 1994, she was performing with the Circus International in Hawaii when she killed her trainer and gored her groomer, then bolted from the arena and ran through the city for a half-hour, injuring several people before collapsing from the 86 police bullets fired into her. It took nearly two hours for her to die, lying in the street.


Tyke's legacy, a growing worldwide awareness of the suffering of animals in circuses, continues to gather strength. IDA is working every day to nurture that awareness, and to transform it into action. Elephants in circuses endure intense confinement, social isolation and the constant threat of physical punishment. We aim to end these abusive practices and to prevent further injuries or deaths—elephant or human—resulting from the proximity between the public and these traumatized, highly stressed animals.


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