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The real life horror of circus animal cruelty revealed in new BBC film

A film being shown on BBC4 tonight casts a light on the suffering of circus animals

A new documentary will be shown on television tonight highlighting the suffering of animals kept in circuses, and the danger posed to the public.

The film, named Circus Elephant Rampage, tells the story of female circus elephant Tyke.

She hit the headlines in 1994 after going on a rampage following years of horrendous abuse at the hands of her trainer.

The incident took place at a circus in Honolulu, Hawaii, and resulted in the death of Tyke’s trainer and 13 other people in hospital.

Tyke was killed in 1994
As she made a bid for freedom, Tyke was pursued by police and shot over 100 times. She eventually collapsed next to a car after making her way out onto the street.

Directors Susan Lambert and Stefan Moore revealed: "We wanted to tell the story of a circus elephant whose break for freedom sparked a global battle over the use of wild performing animals. Tyke’s tragic story is a powerful example of why campaigns like ADI’s are so vital to ending the use of wild animals in entertainment."

Thousands of circus animals are subjected to cruel, physical punishments as trainers force them to ’submit’ to them.

Many animals are kept in small cages, a world away from their natural habitat where they are free to roam with their own kind.

Tyke’s story is just one of many animals who find themselves caught up in the world of circus entertainment.

The film will air on BBC Four tonight at 9pm.

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