Following a LION investigation into Cole Bros. Circus and its elephant exhibitor Carson & Barnes, LION filed a formal complaint to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) alleging the circus' violation of New York state permits mandating that "Animals must be exhibited, held, transported, and housed in a manner which prevents direct contact with the public at all times." Today, the New York State DEC reported "The department followed up on [LION's] complaint and as a result tickets were issued for violation of state law. The animals in question were transported out of the state the same day."
Not only is exhibiting wild animals cruel, but it is also incredibly dangerous. In seven separate incidents, elephants with Cole Bros. have become violent, killing two members of the public, injuring more than a dozen others, and rampaging during performances, causing tens of thousands of dollars in property damage. In one incident in Queens, two elephants went on a rampage triggering a panic that left 12 people injured. The elephants bolted from the tent and crushed a parked car before being brought under control. In a separate incident, a 450-pound white tiger bolted from Cole Bros. while being transferred from one cage to another in Forest Park. Dozens of police officers with machine guns and tranquilizer darts pursued the animal for 30 minutes as he prowled through a park crowded with picnickers, scattering screaming people and causing a five-car pileup. Two women filed a $30 million lawsuit after sustaining spinal fractures and other injuries in the multi-car crash on the Jackie Robinson Parkway.