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Circus Gatti Fact Sheet

Performing captive wildlife — elephants, lions, tigers, bears, baboons, monkeys, camels, llamas — all endure years of physical and psychological pain and suffering in traveling acts to “entertain” an uninformed audience.

Circus Gatti has failed to meet minimal federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Circus Gatti for repeatedly failing to provide structurally sound enclosures.

Some Recent Incidents Involving Animals at Gatti Circuses:


An inspection conducted by the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Animals Services Agency during Circus Gatti's appearance at the Watsonville Fairgrounds revealed two dogs with injuries that required veterinary care. A cockapoo named Banjo had a fresh wound between two toes on one of his front paws that was causing him to limp. A terrier named Zorro was limping because of a toenail that had been torn off four days earlier. The dogs' handler was unaware of Banjo's injury and stated that she didn't feel that Zorro's injury required veterinary attention. Animal Services ordered the handler to seek veterinary care for both dogs. (PETA)


A USDA inspector noted that photos of the hind feet of the elephant Tiki indicated that, "The feet are a potential problem if the excess skin is not removed and the cracks and crevices on the bottoms of the feet are not beveled so s to prevent stones, dirt and bacteria from becoming entrapped in the excess sole skin." The elephant Wanda's feet also were affected. (USDA Inspection Report)


Cash, an 8-year-old Siberian tiger with Circus Gatti, refused to return to his cage following a performance, prompting the evacuation of spectators from the arena. Both Sacramento police and SWAT teams were dispatched to the scene. The tiger was eventually tranquilized and returned to his cage. (Sacramento Police Department Incident Report)


The USDA again cited Circus Gatti for failure to submit an updated traveling itinerary to USDA. The itinerary ensures that Animal Care knows the circus’s whereabouts in order to make inspections. (USDA Inspection Report)


The USDA cited Circus Gatti for failure to supply an updated traveling itinerary that would allow the agency to make unannounced inspections. Itineraries are required to be updated with each schedule change. (USDA Inspection Report)


The city of Richmond, CA unsuccessfully attempted to collect a $10,620 balance owed by Circus Gatti for a May 1998 circus show. (San Francisco Chronicle)


A USDA inspector noted that the elephants, trainers, and handlers have not been tested for tuberculosis. (USDA Inspection Report)


The USDA cited Circus Gatti for failure to maintain the structural strength of the elephant barn floor. This is a previously identified noncompliance that had not been corrected. The inspector also noted that the ventilation of the transport trailer “could be less than adequate in extreme hot weather conditions.” (USDA Inspection Report)


The USDA cited Circus Gatti for failure to maintain the elephant barn. (USDA Inspection Report)


The USDA noted that Circus Gatti needs to update its written plan for veterinary care. (USDA Inspection Report)


During the chimpanzee act, two chimps, while collared and leashed, dragged their trainer out of the ring, grabbed a child from the audience bringing her back into the ring, and mauled her. (The Oregonian)

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