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Dad Died Trying to Save Daughter in Circus Disaster

NH investigation focuses on tent permits

(Newser) - The two people killed in Monday's circus tent collapse in New Hampshire have been identified as a Vermont father and his young daughter—and from what investigators say, it sounds as if their deaths could have been prevented. New Hampshire Fire Marshal William Degnan says Robert Young, 41, and... More »

Elephants Rescue Stranded Truck in Louisiana

They pushed to stop big rig toppling over

(Newser) - Two circus elephants being taken from New Orleans to Dallas helped out instead of making a break for freedom when the 18-wheeler carrying them ran into trouble. Police in Natchitoches Parish, La., say they received a call about a stranded truck on Interstate 49 and when they arrived, they were... More »

Circus 'Pandas' Were Really Painted Dogs

Chow chow pups were being used in traveling circus

(Newser) - With more paint and a couple of horses, they could have had zebras, too: A pair of chow chow puppies dyed black and white looked enough like pandas to fool visitors to a traveling circus near Milan, officials in Italy say. Forestry officials—who investigate many animal cases in Italy—... More »

Dubai Won't Let In World's Most Pierced Man

The horned, heavily pierced German couldn't get through customs

(Newser) - The German IT worker who lays claim to the world's most piercings with 453 —most of which are on his face and genitals—is also claiming he couldn't get through customs on his way to a night club in Dubai due to officials worrying he might be... More »

Only One of Injured Acrobats Can Walk

Samantha Pitard says she wants to perform again

(Newser) - Only one of the acrobats who fell during a circus act last weekend has been released, and she wants back in the ring—but the others may not perform or even walk again, the AP reports. Their 20-foot fall during a hair-hanging act left several in intensive care, with injuries... More »

Circus Elephants Escape, Go on Mini Rampage

At least 2 vehicles damaged after they slip handlers at Moolah Shrine Circus

(Newser) - Three circus elephants got a little taste of freedom and hooliganism yesterday when they apparently slipped their handlers at Moolah Shrine Circus and went on a mini rampage in a St. Louis parking lot, reports . At least two vehicles were damaged, though one witness makes it sound more... More »

Circus Elephant Injured ... in Drive-by Shooting

'Carol' is OK after getting hit with bullet in Tupelo, Mississippi

(Newser) - Even animal-rights activists who hate the circus couldn't have dreamed up this potential pitfall: An elephant with Ringling Bros. was wounded overnight in a drive-by shooting in Tupelo, Mississippi, reports the Clarion-Ledger . The good news is that "Carol," who was in an outdoor enclosure at the time,... More »

Freezing Elephants 'Saved' by Vodka

After trailer catches fire in Siberia, Russia's favorite drink keeps them warm

(Newser) - Sometimes you really need a drink. One of those times: When your truck has caught fire and you're standing by the side of a Siberian highway in freezing weather with frostbite setting in. That's the predicament a pair of Indian elephants found themselves in, and their quick-thinking handlers... More »

Ringling Pays $270K Animal Welfare Fine

Circus mistreated elephants and tigers, feds say

(Newser) - The Ringling Brothers circus—without admitting wrongdoing—has paid $270,000 to settle federal accusations that it mistreated elephants, tigers, zebras, and other exotic animals. Federal inspectors found that a sick elephant was forced to perform, elephants' faces were cut by sharp edges in transport trailers, big cats were kept... More »

Worker Caught Beating Circus Elephant

Annie whacked repeatedly by cruel minder

(Newser) - A British circus worker has been filmed repeatedly kicking and slamming a docile elephant with a pitchfork in her face and body as she was chained in her enclosure. The film of 57-year-old Asian elephant Annie was taken by Animal Defenders International and has triggered a joint investigation by local... More »

China Bans Animal Circuses

And no more monkey meat on the human menus at zoos

(Newser) - Monkey-fighting is off the agenda and monkey meat is off the menu at zoos and circuses in China. An animal welfare law taking effect this month bans animal performances at zoos and other attractions, and bans zoos from serving dishes made from rare animals, the Telegraph reports. Wildlife parks will... More »

Half-Naked Acrobats Shake Up Staid Vatican

Benedict looks especially uncomfortable

(Newser) - The Vatican's normally a pretty staid place, lined with pure thoughts and celibate clergymen, so more than a few eyebrows raised when four buff guys lined up in front of Pope Benedict himself and ripped their shirts off. The four were actually acrobats, known as the Pilgrim Brothers, who proceeded... More »

Circus Lion Attack Caught on Tape

Trainer currently in stable condition

(Newser) - An American family got a lot more than it bargained for at a Ukraine circus last weekend, when a lion attacked its trainer—and the family got it all on video. First one lion, then another, lunges and bites the trainer as other circus workers hose down the animals to... More »

Runaway Elephant Goes Swimming, Shopping

Footloose pachyderm tours downtown Zurich

(Newser) - An escaped elephant went on a tour of downtown Zurich yesterday evening, spending an hour on the loose before police apprehended her. Sabu, a 26-year-old female from the Swiss national circus, cooled off in Lake Zurich before roaming the streets of the business district and doing a little window-shopping on... More »

Russian Chimp Goes to Rehab

Zhora got addicted to cigarettes, beer

(Newser) - Don’t feel bad, Amy Winehouse: Even apes have to go to rehab sometimes. At least one Russian chimpanzee did, if a Reuters report is to be believed. According to a Russian newspaper, Zhora got aggressive at his first home—a circus—before being sent to a zoo, where he... More »

Trainee Hypnotizes Himself

Wife finds hapless circus performer in trance

(Newser) - A stage performer's hypnosis textbook apparently forgot to mention that practicing on yourself is a bad idea. Helmut Kichmeier—stage name Hannibal Helmurto—was found by his wife standing in front of a mirror in a zombie-like trance with an open book on hypnosis by his side. She called his... More »

Judge Sides With Circus in Elephant Cruelty Case

Judge says plaintiff wasn't credible

(Newser) - A judge threw out an elephant abuse lawsuit against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, saying the plaintiff, former Ringling employee Tom Rider, hadn’t demonstrated a close enough attachment to the animals. Rider and the Animal Protection Institute had argued that circus practices like using bull hooks on elephants... More »

PETA Releases Video of Circus Elephant Abuse

(Newser) - PETA has released video it says shows cruelty to circus elephants, the Orange County Register reports. The tape shows Ringling Bros. handlers swatting elephants with “bull hooks,” and one pachyderm exhibiting signs of “severe psychological distress.” “This video again shows what we have been saying... More »

Feuding Senate Has NY State Seeing Double

'Farcical' legislators make mayhem; gov blasts proceedings

(Newser) - New York got two state senates for the price of one yesterday as lawmakers held side-by-side sessions, with each party passing its own bills, the New York Times reports. Dems got to the chamber first and locked out Republicans. When the GOP was finally allowed in, members were barred from... More »

NYC Weighs Ban on Circus Elephants

(Newser) - The circus is in town, and in a related development, the New York City Council is considering a ban on the display of "wild or exotic animals" for entertainment, the Times reports. The bill, understood to be aimed at the Ringling Brothers pachyderms, has the support of almost half... More »

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