Demand Retired Circus Animals be Given Freedom

Mexican circus

Target: Gustavo Larios Velasco, president of the Mexican Association for Animal Rights

Goal: Ensure the retiring animals from the Atayde Hermanos circus be placed in the wild or in sanctuaries

The world’s oldest circus act has recently shut down for good. Based in Mexico, the Atayde Hermanos circus has been in operation since 1888, traveling all over Mexico with numerous generations of animals and entertainers. The circus’ closure was involuntary, due to dwindling ticket sales following a ban on the use of animals in circus acts within Mexico City. While the closure of the circus means that the resident animals will no longer be forced to perform, the fate of the animals seems to be of little concern and is therefore undecided.

The Atayde Hermanos circus had plans to end its tour and close its curtains for good in one month’s time; however, due to the circus animal ban in Mexico City, ticket sales were down significantly, forcing the circus to close earlier than planned. The law in Mexico City was backed by Mexico’s Green Party; members of the party disagree about what will happen to the animals of the circus. One spokesman, Fernando Fierro Gonzalez, claimed that the animals will be returned to the wild. Some spokesmen of the same political group insist that most will be brought to wildlife sanctuaries while other members confide that the details of the animals’ fates have yet to be determined.

It is a very good thing that the animals of the Atayde Hermanos circus will no longer live to entertain humans. Though, it is very important that the animals be returned to the wild, if able, or brought to safe wildlife sanctuaries. The circus’ curtains have closed; without revenue, the owners will no longer be able to afford the animals. A decision must be made quickly so the animals are not left to live in limbo, waiting for their destinies. Partner with the president of the Mexican Association for Animal Rights and urge that the animals be brought to proper wildlife areas in a timely manner.


Dear Gustavo Larios Velasco,

I am writing on behalf of the recently retired animals of the Atayde Hermanos circus. It is my understanding that the circus recently closed its curtains and the fate of the resident animals is yet to be decided. Some members of the Green Party insist that the animals will be brought to their wild homes, while other members insist that the animals will be brought to wildlife sanctuaries. Please approach the Green Party with the signatures that this petition generates and urge that the animals either be released into the wild, if safely able, or brought to wildlife sanctuaries.

It is my hope that the retired animals will not be given to individual people as pets. The animals of the Atayde Hermanos circus deserve to live their lives in wild areas, where they will be free to be the wild animals that they are.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Steve Jurvestson via Flickr

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  1. These animals deserve retirement in protection and safety of a sanctuary. You can’t send them to be “pets” and endure further abuse.

  2. Shirley Plowman says:

    Please see to it that these captive circus animals for so long living and being used for “entertainment” are usually not able to just be returned to the Wild. What is most appropriate would be to find high quality wildlife sanctuaries for them to live out the rest of their lives. They have earned that Right by their years spent in captivity in a circus environment. We are know how sad their lives must have been.

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