PETA protests circus’ use of wild animals in Mount Vernon

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MOUNT VERNON -

PETA protested a circus' first performance in Mount Vernon due to its use of wild animals.

The UniverSoul Circus performed at Hutchinson Field Wednesday evening.

UniverSoul has been around for 25 years and features acrobats, stilt walkers clowns and dancers, but PETA is protesting the use of wild animals in the show, which includes elephants and tigers.

John DiLeanardo, of PETA, says elephants are beaten with bull hooks and don't want to perform tricks. Members of PETA want patrons to boycott the circus.

However, some who attended say it was a good show that had them smiling. Geraldine Higgins, of Mount Vernon, says she likes the clowns and acrobats, and especially the elephants.

In a statement to News 12, a circus spokesperson says, "The UniverSoul Circus believes that all animals are entitled to humane treatment and should never be mistreated or abused in any way. We care about the well-being of each of the animals that travels with us and performs in our shows."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a law to ban the use of elephants for entertainment including circuses, but that law doesn't take effect until next year.

The circus will have performances in Mount Vernon through May 13.
 

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