Stephanie Henkel, exclusive to Global Animal

Cole Brothers, a well-known traveling circus, has been repeatedly cited and fined for failing to meet “minimum standards of care and treatment” for their animals used in exhibition, as established by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Numerous citations were issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failure to give veterinary care to animals and for failure to provide sufficient space for the animals.

Circus-goers walk by protesters on their way to the Cole Bros. Circus. Photo Credit: Calista Condo, Gloucester County Times
Circus customers walk by protesters on their way to the Cole Bros. Circus. Photo Credit: Calista Condo, Gloucester County Times

Formal charges of AWA violations against Cole Bros. were filed by the USDA with allegations that elephants were overworked and overloaded; abused with sharp metal bullhooks; and mishandled by means of neglect and malnourishment, which resulted in the untimely deaths of two elephants’ within a two-week period.

Property damage has also resulted from Cole Bros. Circus animal mistreatment. On May 15, 1995, two elephants caused $20,000 worth of damage at a Sears Auto Center. An onlooker who witnessed the event stated that the elephants appeared “to act aggressive…when the trainer ‘would pound on the animals with the hook… He [the trainer] really lost control, really started hammering on them.’”

In addition, there have been several instances where elephants have become violent during performances. More than a dozen people have been injured, and two members of the general public were crushed to death by Cole Bros. elephants.

This circus, which performs throughout the east coast, has drawn a lot of attention from PETA and other animal rights activists. Currently, Cole Bros. Circus is home to about a dozen poodles, fifteen tigers, and six elephants. Many animal lovers are uniting and protesting against this circus, with many demonstrations taking place right outside the performances.

The protestors at these rallies carry signs and hand out pamphlets to showgoers in hopes of decreasing the number of circus customers. “We are appealing to parents and grandparents not to take children to animal circuses because every ticket purchased supports suffering,” stated PETA Foundation director of captive animal law enforcement, Delcianna Winders.

Numerous organizations throughout the east coast, including Animal Rights Foundation Florida, coordinate Cole Bros. protests. Below is a list of upcoming circus dates, so you know when and where to take action.

Picture taken by protesters at a Cole Bros. Circus show. Photo Credit: Facebook
Picture taken by protester at a Cole Bros. Circus show. Photo Credit: Lorraine Moe

Upcoming 2013 Cole Brothers Circus Dates

Florida

  • Deland, FL
    • March 16 4:30 & 7:30
    • March 17 1:30 & 4:30
  • Gainesville, FL
    • March 18 4:30 & 7:30
    • March 19 4:30 & 7:30

Georgia

  • Brunswick, GA
      • March 20 4:30 & 7:30
      • March 21 4:30 & 7:30

    An elephant being used for rides at a show in Wilmington, NC. Photo Credit: Facebook
    An elephant being used for rides at a show in Wilmington, NC. Photo Credit: Lorraine Moe

South Carolina

  • Ladson, SC
    • March 22 4:30 & 7:30
    • March 23 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30
    • March 24 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30
  • Bluffton, SC
    • March 25 4:30 & 7:30
    • March 26 4:30 & 7:30
  • Dudley, SC
      • March 27 4:30 & 7:30
      • March 28 4:30 & 7:30

    On April 14, 2013, protesters united against Cole Bros. Circus. Photo Credit: Lorraine Moe
    On April 14, 2013, protesters united against Cole Bros. Circus. Photo Credit: Lorraine Moe

North Carolina

  • Greenville, NC
    • March 29 4:30 & 7:30
    • March 30 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30
  • Wilmington, NC
    • April 11 4:30 & 7:30
    • April 12 4:30 & 7:30
    • April 13 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30
    • April 14 1:30 & 4:30

For Wilmington, NC protest times visit:
https://www.facebook.com/events/584452844902436/

For Raleigh, NC protest times visit:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Join-Raleigh-Protest-Stand-Up-Against-the-Circus/142537909194554?id=142537909194554&sk=events

More Information about Cole Brothers Circus:
http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/Cole_Bros_Circus_Factsheet.pdf
http://nj1015.com/peta-protests-cole-bros-circus-should-animal-acts-be-banned-poll/
http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2012/08/protesters_claim_animal_abuse.html
http://www.theledger.com/article/20121105/NEWS/121109580

UPDATE: More Global Animal on Cole Bros. Circus animal abuse 

 

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