A circus is coming to town, but it’s not bringing any animals with it.
The Moscow International Circus will be performing at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena October 3-5, and had originally planned to bring animals.
When PETA got wind of the plan, the organization and its supporters pleaded with the circus to do otherwise.
“As soon as PETA heard that the Moscow International Circus was planning to use animals in the circus, which would be the first time in Honolulu that a circus would use animals since Tyke’s tragic death,” said Delcianna Winders, PETA. “We reached out to them and asked them to not use animals because it’s both inhumane and it’s extremely dangerous.”
Now, the circus says, it will only use human performers. But, according to promoter Cornell Nicholas, the decision was due to logistics, not history.
“We have some of the finest performers on the planet with the Moscow International Circus, so we really just decided to showcase the talent of the humans,” Nicholas said. “I’ve heard all different reasonings for having animals and for not having animals. I’m really interested in talking about the talent that we do have, and not the talent that we don’t have, and not about what happened decades ago.”
On August 20, 1994, Tyke, a circus elephant, went on a rampage in downtown Honolulu after breaking out of a performance at the Blaisdell.
The elephant killed its trainer, then escaped into the streets, trampling a man before being shot and killed by police.
Honolulu has not had any circus animals since.