Greatest Show on Earth, Animal Abuse Come to Coney Island

Tickets for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus' "Coney Island Boom a Ring," scheduled for Coney Island this summer, go on sale today. (Warning: link plays horrible music.) A Ringling exec tells the New York Times, "this opening night in June will be a celebration of Coney Island." "Joining the mermaids, Cyclones and beachgoers this summer will be Bengal tigers, Asian elephants and acrobats from around the world," says the Coney Island Fun Guide, "for what will be a fantastic season for kids and families."

Good news for Coney Island funnel cake merchants -- horrible news for PETA. "New York City officials recently announced that the notorious elephant abusers at Ringling Bros. Circus will be at Coney Island for several months this summer thanks to a land donation from Taconic Investments." says the animal-rights organization, "PETA has contacted the city and Taconic to let them know of Ringling's lengthy history of animal abuse and numerous eyewitness accounts of abuse from previous Ringling employees, but they refuse to sever ties with the animal-abusing act."

The form letter PETA wants its supporters to send to New York officials and Taconic Investments doesn't mince words: "The circus rips baby elephants away from their mothers and forces them into a life of pain, humiliation, and loneliness. Animals used in the circus are beaten with bullhooks, whipped, and shocked with electric prods in order to force them to perform physically painful and confusing tricks. Animals are denied the fulfillment of all their natural instincts."

On the bright side, maybe PETA will do some nude protests.

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