Tyke was trapped and taken away from her family when she was a baby. She was shipped to a circus. There, she was confined to a concrete room and beaten over and over, to break her spirit. Circus trainers hit her repeatedly with a sharp metal “bullhook,” which made her cry out in pain. They struck her in her most sensitive areas: behind her ears, on top of her toes, in back of her knees, and around her anus. They wanted to hurt her and frighten her so she would be obedient. Bullhoock
The day she died she was as usual performing for Hawthorne circus which have a long record of animal cruelty violations. By April of 1993, she had enough. She tried to escape during a circus performance. She didn’t make it. In July she tried to escape again; she was unsuccessful. Hawthorn should have retired her right then and there, as she was an obvious threat to the public. But they didn’t. Only God knows what punishment she received when brought back to the Circus.
In August of 1994 Tyke reached a breaking point. She had been in the circus nearly 20 years. She was tired of being beaten, whipped, and kicked. She could no longer take the pain and the confinement. She was angry and wanted to be free. At an afternoon performance at the Neal Blaidsell Center in Honolulu, it all came to an end…
At some point during the show, she veered from the script. Circus staff tried to beat her back, but no bullhook or whip could stop the rage that had been building inside her for two decades. She crushed her trainer, Allen Campbell. She attacked two other people. She panicked the crowd. She ran into the streets. It was rush hour. She was disoriented and no idea where she was. She charged at bystanders and smashed cars as she made her way through several city blocks. Onlookers screamed. The police were called out and started shooting at Tyke with rifles.
She slowly fell over, then awkwardly stood back up. The police kept firing. Her head swayed, and her legs buckled. She got up again. The spray of bullets continued. She rocked her head violently from side to side. Her legs gave way once more. She was on her knees and could not right herself. Her eyes were fully open and confused. The shooting went on for several more seconds. Finally, she fell, very slowly, onto her side.
This was Tyke’s final performance. The price of freedom from the circus was steep. She was shot 87 times…
Remember that this is the reality of every Circus elephant. You pay the price for your ticket. They pay with their lives…
Circuses should be banned to have animals!
And the reason we should remember her and any other elephant that have suffered and still do, is that it needs to stop. They are trained in the most brutal way as I have written about before. See here.
I wrote about Tyke in May also https://ciccib.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/remember-tyke-the-elephant-and-her-painful-death-ban-all-circus-animals/