Twenty years ago, Tyke the Elephant escaped the circus only to meet an untimely fate. Two decades later, people are still righteously pissed off.
The 20-year-old female African elephant worked in the Honolulu Circus international. During an August show in 1994, she began kicking audience members around as if they were nothing. Many stated that they thought it was part of the act, however, they soon realized that it was not. She then crushed her trainer who was trying to prevent what was taking place and then fled the arena.
“It was pretty traumatic,” said Wier, who took her sons Dillon, then 6, and Koa, 10 months, to the circus for the first time. “It’s still in the back of our minds.”
“We were sitting rather close, and I remember when Tyke came out and he was tossing the trainer around. It just happened so fast,” she said. “I told my husband. ‘This can’t be for the show.’”
Sadly, Tyke made her way into the streets and was met by the business districts rush hour and a foot chase between the elephant and the police began. Unfortunately, the police then shot her 87 times before she died from nerve damage and brain hemorrhages. Sad crowd watchers stood by and watched the event take place.
PETA has stated that the best thing to do would be to avoid going to the circus if it includes animals, and have provided the public with a list of animal-free circuses along with a list of things that can be done if the circus comes to town.
While Tyke has been gone from the world for twenty years, we must remember what happened to her, and the harsh conditions she must have endured to have escaped in that manner. Please, avoid the circus at all costs, and treat animals in a humane manner. These sweet animals have done nothing to be kidnapped and placed into captivity, and they deserve nothing but the best.