(ANIMAL VIDEOS/CIRCUS ANIMAL ABUSE) During a February 18 performance at the Tangier Shrine Circus outside Omaha, Nebraska, one audience member captured a horrifying video that’s sweeping the web. The video footage shows a bear being pulled by a leash and forced to walk on her front legs over a beam and down a few stairs. As she performs these “tricks,” she urinates—which, according to a bear expert, is a sign of acute stress.

Not only is the loud music and noisy crowd inherently stressful to the bears, but forcing these intelligent creatures to perform difficult tricks such as these can cause physical trauma and lead to long-term psychological issues, as they are counter to bears’ natural behavior and abilities.

Today, PETA sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the act, known as “Castle’s Bears,” for violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

PETA has also called on the circus to put an end to their exotic animal acts, while offering to transfer the performing bears to a reputable sanctuary.

“Dragging sensitive bears from town to town and yanking them around for a circus show should have ended in the Dark Ages,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA stands ready to transport these bears to a reputable sanctuary, where they’d never be tormented again.”

While Ringling Brothers recently announced its permanent closure, this video serves as an unsettling reminder that the fight against circus animal abuse is not over yet. — Global Animal

TAKE ACTION: Tell Venues That Garden Bros. Circus Needs to Drop Its Cruel Animal Acts!