Update: The U.S. Department of
Agriculture has opened a formal investigation into the death of Casey Dale
Walker after receiving the whistleblower report from PETA alleging that the
circus worker was killed by an elephant. The report also alleges that the Piccadilly
Circus attempted to cover up the circumstances surrounding Walker’s death. Documentation from Animal
Care and Control in Fort Wayne, Indiana, indicates that Walker is the same man
who was caught beating an elephant with a bullhook just a week before his death.
Originally posted August 21:
A whistleblower is alleging that a Franzen Bros. Circus worker
who was touring with Piccadilly Circus was attacked and killed in St. Charles, Illinois, by an elephant late last week, although the death
was reported as an accident involving a pipe. The source—who has provided PETA with reliable information before—reported that
the worker was moved into his room after the incident in an attempt to cover up
the cause of his death. Franzen Bros. had provided Piccadilly Circus with the elephant.
Under the Big Top
Even though circuses notoriously hide the abuses that they inflict on animals,
this would be a different sort of cover-up if it’s true. PETA has called on the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Occupational Safety Health
Administration to investigate the allegations, urged the St. Charles police to
investigate the claims, and asked the Kane County Fairgrounds executive manager
to preserve and retain all possibly relevant security video footage.
The exploitation of captive animals by circuses poses a
grave danger. The accumulated strain of enduring years of beatings, bullhooks, and
shackles causes some elephants to snap—and when elephants rebel against their
oppression, lives are put at risk. In more than 35 dangerous incidents since
2000, elephants have bolted from circuses, run amok through streets, crashed
into buildings, attacked members of the public, and killed and injured
The whistleblower’s report comes just a week after PETA
received a complaint stating that someone saw a worker on the road with
Piccadilly Circus repeatedly and forcefully beating and yelling at an elephant.
The USDA is now investigating that episode.
What You Can Do
Article source: PETA Files