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PETA: Circus Workers Caught on Tape Abusing Animals

PetsCircusesElephant (animal)Tiger (animal)WPIX

An undercover probe launched by PETA into the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, dubbed the"greatest show on earth," conjured up shocking video of circus workers on tape beating and whipping elephants dozens of times in venues across the country.

The pet advocacy group, who announced its findings Wednesday in Manhattan, documented workers as they struck elephants and tigers on the head, face, ears, trunk, legs, and other parts of their bodies with bullhooks and various abusive handling tools. PETA said among those responsible for the animal abuse are the unit's animal superintendant and head elephant trainer who, too, used sharp devices to hook and yank the animals.

The abuse, which stretched from shows across the nation from Birmingham, Alabama to Providence, Rhode Island, is just the latest piece of evidence PETA says it has against Ringling Bros.

PETA has filed a lawsuit against the company and said in addition to the new video uncovered Wednesday, it also has five other videos showcasing abuse and testimony from former Ringling employees speaking out against the circus's cruel practices. A verdict in the case is expected to be made sometime this summer.

So far, Ringing Bros. has not commented on the footage and has only called PETA "an extremist animal rights group."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun