A pair of zebras recently broke free from UniverSoul Circus and ran for miles through the busy streets of Philadelphia while officers raced after them. They were eventually caught but were likely traumatized by the chase through an unfamiliar and noisy city, surrounded by cars and ear-piercing sirens.
This circus claims that the zebras didn’t sustain any physical injuries from their ordeal, but they could have easily been hurt. There have been multiple reports of zebras escaping from circus shows, putting both the animals and the public at risk.
In 2010, after being hauled around the country and forced to perform for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a 12-year-old zebra named Lima broke free from his trainers, squeezed through a fence, and ran through the streets of Atlanta for 40 minutes, pursued by police and his trainers. After police blocked off lanes of the interstate on which Lima was running, he was eventually captured, but the injuries to his hooves were so severe that he had to be euthanized (put to sleep).
Zebras are prey animals. Putting them in the middle of large crowds—not to mention in close proximity to lions and tigers—can be extremely frightening for them. Because of their tendency to be easily spooked and run, this is dangerous for them and everyone around them. Zebras want to live in herds in the wild, not travel in cramped trailers or perform stupid tricks for humans’ amusement.
Together, We Can Help Zebras
Never go to any circus that uses zebras or any other animal for entertainment and urge your friends and family to stay away from them, too!