Shrine Circus Wants To Know What Caused Camel To Start Bucking, Injuring 7

PETA is calling for all animal acts to removed from the circus

Joe DeStio
September 17, 2018 - 4:50 pm



PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Authorities are still trying to determine what caused a camel at the Shriners Circus to become “spooked” Sunday at PPG Paints Arena, injuring six children and an adult. It happened as a woman and two children were riding the animal as it was tethered. Circus Chairman Paul Leavy says he’s heard the reports that a child threw a shovel at the animal’s feet, causing it to buck and run.

“It’s all just based on social media speculation as to somebody throwing something at the camel’s feet,” said Leavy. We’ll let the investigation play out. We would like to find out exactly what happened just as much as everybody else does.”

None of the injuries was called serious although one child did suffer a broken arm. A Public Safety spokesman says handlers had the animal under control in eleven seconds. No other animals on the circus floor was injured. Pittsburgh Police and the Shrine Circus are investigating. Leavy says federal U.S.D.A or O.S.H.A. officials may also be called in.

As an organization that does everything for children, this is the last thing we wanted to see,” said Leavy. “As a parent, this is the last thing I wanted to see.”

However the animal rights group Humane Action Pittsburgh posted, “This is yet another reason animal circuses should be banned.”

In a statement on Monday, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) renewed calls for the Shrine Circus to put a stop to using animals in its acts.

"This is far from the first time an animal has hurt someone at a Shrine circus, and it won't be the last as long as camels, elephants, and tigers are still being bullied into performing," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "PETA is calling on Shriners International to protect children and animals by giving audiences thrilling circus shows that star talented human performers, not abused animals."

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