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From 1 August 2004 Issue

Ringling Lion Suffers Horrifying Death in Circus Boxcar
From Lawrence Carter-Long - LCL@idausa.org 

PLEASE DEMAND INVESTIGATION BY THE USDA (SAMPLE LETTER BELOW.)

According to a whistleblower, on July 14, Clyde, a young, healthy lion Traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus was traveling from Phoenix, Ariz., to Fresno, Calif.

The train was crossing the Mojave Desert, where temperatures reached at least 100F on Monday, July 12. The lions were on the train for three days without being checked or provided with water. Clyde's dead body was discovered when the circus train stopped just before arriving in Fresno. This lion is believed to have died a miserable death from heatstroke and dehydration. Circus officials reportedly brought in a U-Haul to remove Clyde's corpse.

This incident is nearly identical to a July 2000 tragedy in which two of Ringling's tigers injured themselves while attempting to escape from their cages in an overheated boxcar. The tigers were in immediate danger because of an excessive rise in temperature.

Please contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture and politely ask them to thoroughly investigate this incident and file charges against Ringling for its chronic failure to provide adequate care to animals in transit.

SAMPLE LETTER: Remember to include your name and address and please change some of the words by using info at:

http://www.circuses.com/ringling.html 

===========

TO:
Chester A. Gipson, DVM
Associate Deputy Administrator
USDA-APHIS-VS
4700 River Rd., Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
301-734-7833
301-734-4993 (fax)
Chester.A.Gipson@usda.gov  (usda.gov)

RE: Thorough Investigation of Horrible Death of Unattended Lion in Ringling Brothers Boxcar

Dear Dr. Gipson:

According to a whistleblower, on July 14, 2004 Clyde, a young, healthy lion traveling with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus was traveling from Phoenix, Arizona, to Fresno, California.

The train was crossing the Mojave Desert, where temperatures reached at least 100F on Monday, July 12. The lions were on the train for three days without being checked or provided with water. Clyde's dead body was discovered when the circus train stopped just before arriving in Fresno. This lion is believed to have died a miserable death from heatstroke and dehydration. Circus officials reportedly brought in a U-Haul to remove Clyde's corpse.

This incident is nearly identical to a July, 2000 tragedy in which two of Ringling's tigers injured themselves while attempting to escape from their cages in an overheated boxcar. The tigers were in immediate danger because of an excessive rise in temperature.

I ask that you thoroughly investigate this incident and file charges against Ringling for its chronic failure to provide adequate care to animals in transit. Please keep me informed of the actions you take.

Sincerely,

Go on to Tell Governor Schwarzenegger You Support a Ban on Ear Cropping
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