Breaking! Exclusive With Will Travers Co-Founder Of Born Free About Animal Exhibitor Hawthorn Corporation Shutting Down After Tiger Deaths


One of the largest providers of circus animals in the U.S. is finally being shut down.

Will Travers, co-founder of wild animal charity Born Free USA, exclusive: “Hawthorn has long-been condemned by animal welfare experts and caring members of the public as the unacceptable face of animal exploitation. Animals, including elephants and tigers, have suffered and died and the corporation has been subject to numerous violations under the USDA. Is this the beginning of the end of the exploitation of wild animals for so-called human ‘entertainment’? It can be if the great majority take a stand and say ‘enough is enough’. But right now we need to know where the Hawthorn animals will go and be reassured that their welfare be guranteed.”

According to PETA, Illinois-based Hawthorn Corporation’s license has been canceled following years of protests, $272,500 in penalties from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the deaths of dozens of exploited tigers.

The company had previously been required by the USDA in 2004 to surrender all of the elephants in its custody.

According to USDA reports from April, two tigers used by Hawthorn died on the road in just over one month: Prince was euthanized after he became hypothermic and dehydrated and had trouble breathing, and Munia died when trainers claimed that they were not able to contact a veterinarian and Hawthorn refused to allow a necropsy.

As reported by WAN, the company also made headlines in April of this year when a truck transporting tigers from the Hejaz Shrine circus in South Carolina to Illinois was left in a strip-mall parking lot by the driver before he reportedly checked into a motel. The poor tigers remained unattended inside the small cages for hours and ran out of food and water.

While this marks the latest in some positive news such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shutting down, and more than 620 malls and 70 jurisdictions nationwide instituting restrictions against circuses that use animals, there is much more that needs to be done.

It’s an admirable start but sadly, there are still many instances where wild animals are tragically exploited for profit and in the so-called name of “entertainment.”

Will Travers, who is also the President of the UK based Born Free Foundation, concluded: “The British parliament is on the verge of prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses in England. It’s time for the U.S. to step up and do the right thing.”

This type of unnatural exploitation of wild animals, or any animals, needs to end around the world!

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