We might like to think the wild animals featured in a circus, movie, TV show or commercial are enjoying themselves. But behind the scenes, the methods used to train these animals are often abusive, and they may be chained or confined for hours on end.
No matter what kind—elephants, lions, tigers or bears—the needs of wild animals can’t be met in traveling shows. And there’s always risk: If an animal tries to escape or lash out, it can be deadly for the trainer, the audience, and the animal.
Once these animals become too dangerous or old to perform, there may be no safe refuge for them.
With so many better choices in entertainment, there's no need to use wild animals. If you see a captive animal being treated cruelly, speak up. You can also support stronger laws to protect wild animals. And use your pocketbook to advocate for alternatives such as animatronics in films and animal-free circuses.
News & Events
October 18, 2012
Animal Welfare and Conservation Groups Petition USDA to Prohibit Public Contact with Dangerous Wild Animals
On the one-year anniversary of the Zanesville, Ohio, tragedy in which about 50 big cats, bears, primates and other animals were released from cages at a private menagerie, The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Fund for Animals, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries filed a legal petition asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prohibit public contact with big cats, bears and primates under the Animal Welfare Act.
March 16, 2012
Roo-Roo lost an arm (and almost his life) when he was forced to box other kangaroos in a circus. Now, he spends days in the sun at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch keeping company with an old goat.
February 2, 2012
HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle discusses a CareerBuilder ad featuring chimpanzees that will air during this year's Super Bowl.
December 7, 2011
Purchase the ACE Grant-winning documentary "One Lucky Elephant" on DVD.
May 14, 2013
A roadside zoo in Mississippi has lost its exhibitor license after 43 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked the license following an undercover investigation and legal complaints to state and federal officials by The Humane Society of the United States.
April 8, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States commends the Arkansas legislature for passage of House Bill 1391, a bill to prohibit the future private possession of apes (which includes chimpanzees), baboons and macaque monkeys.
December 20, 2012
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division issued a verdict today upholding Ohio’s new and much needed regulations on the possession of dangerous wild animals as pets.
June 5, 2012
Animal Welfare Organizations Praise Ohio Governor Kasich for Signing Dangerous Wild Animal Act into Law
The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA and the ASPCA® issued statements in response to Ohio Gov. John Kasich enacting the Dangerous Wild Animal Act into law.