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PUBLIC DANGERS OF CIRCUSES

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With all the years of mental anguish from being confined and abused, the wild animals in circuses sometimes go beserk.  Unfortunately, this often results in injuries to the public...just another reason why children should not go to the circus.

The following is a partial list of attacks on humans and other incidents involving animals used in traveling acts and other animal exhibits in the U.S. and Canada since 1990. Worldwide, captive elephant attacks in the same period have resulted in 47 deaths and more than 100 injuries; more than 85 captive feline attacks have occurred, approximately one-third resulting in fatal injuries.

Date Place Incident
06/23/03 Crossett, AR Firefighter at Crossett Zoo is bitten on right hand by Tigger the tiger. Firefighter is inside fence which separates Tigger's cage from rest of zoo when Tigger bites and clamps down for more than 30 seconds. Surgery repairs deep laceration and severed tendon of 1 finger. Tip of thumb is bitten off but firefighter has "excellent chance" to regain full use of finger. (Ashley County Ledger)
06/11/03 Brownsville, TX 2 baby zebras jump fence of traveling circus and make their way down southbound Expressway 83. Trucks with ropes corral zebras. Animal Control also sets up fences. Zebras are finally herded into back of truck. 1 police officer and 1 onlooker receive scratches when kicked by zebras. Zebras are treated for wounds. (KRGV-TV, Channel 5 (ABC) - www.newschannel5.tv)
05/07/03 Orlando, FL 7-foot alligator at Gatorland bites handler on face. Handler is preparing for park's Gator Wrestling Show, which takes place in 800-seat arena, when alligator bites him. Handler is in fair condition with gash to face and will probably need stitches. Handler has 4 years' experience handling large reptiles at park. (Orlando Sentinel Tribune)
04/30/03 Columbus, OH Alligator bites animal handler at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus while being moved from public viewing pit outside arena. Handler suffers 6 punctures to right hand. Audience at performance is unaware of occurrence. (Columbus Dispatch)
04/28/03 Denver, CO Polar bear escapes from holding area at Denver Zoo, forcing temporary lockdown. Veterinarians shoot bear with tranquilizer dart and return it to enclosure. (WUSA-TV, Channel 8 (NBC) - 9news.com)
04/25/03 San Antonio, TX Hanna, 350-lb. lioness at Wild Animal Orphanage, escapes her cage and roams neighborhood. Police on ground and in helicopter find Hanna. Sanctuary director shoots Hanna with tranquilizer dart, frightening lioness who charges and knocks director down. Director is treated for fractured pelvis bone and bruised rib. 90 minutes later Hanna is again found and another dart fired. Hanna charges group and 4 police fire with handguns and shotguns, killing Hanna. (San Antonio Express-News)
04/07/03 San Antonio, TX Buffalo at petting zoo behind Rachel's Country Corner gores and tramples 29-year old caretaker to death. USDA officials are looking into possible violations of Animal Welfare Act. (The Post and Courier)
04/02/03 Adair, OK Tiger attacks volunteer handler at Safari Joe's Rock Creek Exotic Animal Park who leans against cage, and rips off her left arm. Woman dies from loss of blood. Tiger belongs to International Wildlife Center of Texas, which leases building in park. (Associated Press)
03/31/03 Hennepin, IL Owner of Second Nature Exotic Cats Sanctuary is killed by tiger when he lets 2 tigers out of building into penned enclosure for exercise. Police shoot both tigers to rescue wounded and bleeding man, only to discover he is dead. On his rural property man also had 1 cougar, 1 lion, and another tiger. (Peoria Journal Star)
03/23/03 Sacramento, CA Castro, 325-pound Sumatran tiger at Sacramento Zoo, attacks 30-year-old zookeeper at feeding time. Zookeeper is hospitalized in fair condition with puncture wounds on his neck, right shoulder, and left leg. (Sacramento Bee)
03/21/03 Lincoln, NE Fort Worth, 7-year-old Shetland pony with Shrine Circus, bolts from auditorium back door during performance. Pony runs against traffic down middle of street before pedestrians catch him. (Associated Press, The New York Times)
03/18/03 (reported) 20th Century Fox television set Trained mountain lion bites actress Elisha Cuthbert on set of television series 24. Trainer Cuthbert instructs to befriend animal, but lion sinks his teeth into Cuthbert's hand. Cuthbert is treated for puncture wounds and receives tetanus shot. (Ananova News Search, The Sun)
03/13/03 Tampa, FL Shark at Florida Aquarium bites woman who puts her hand into shark tank. Less than 2 feet long, shark was part of petting tank exhibit, but has since been removed from petting tank. (Ananova News Search, St. Petersburg Times)
03/11/03 North Charleston, SC While being moved from Roark's Reptile Safari to spend rest of year at South Carolina Aquarium, 22-foot-long, 250-pound female reticulated python breaks free of her container and slithers into transport van's undercarriage, then makes break for sewer grate. Python is recaptured by aquarium curator and 4 fellow staffers. (The Post and Courier)
03/08/03 San Diego, CA Sea lion escapes his enclosure at Sea World in Mission Beach by climbing over wall. He shimmies up several flights of stairs, crosses boardwalk, and ends up on front doorstep of apartment complex. Residents call Sea World and handlers capture sea lion with net. (The Columbus Dispatch)
01/04/03 Columbus, OH Suphan cobra bites zookeeper at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium while being fed dead rat. Keeper, who has 20 years of experience handling reptiles, is in stable condition at local hospital. (The Columbus Dispatch)
02/03/03 Jacksonville, FL Chad, 450-pound Bengal tiger with UniverSoul Circus, squeezes through opening between his cage and holding cage and escapes. Climbing over car and over fence, Chad startles police officer and drive-in worker at nearby Wendy's before circus workers coax him back inside cage. 100s of people witness Chad's escape. (Associated Press, The Florida Times-Union, WJXT-TV, Channel 4 (IND))
12/30/02 Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX Elephant escapes exhibit at shopping mall after he hears police sirens. (KUNV-TV, Channel 23 (UNI))
12/15/02 Miami, FL 20-year-old female elephant at Metrozoo knocks down 31-year-old zookeeper and kicks him into pile of rocks. Knocked unconscious, zookeeper suffers laceration to head and injury to back and is listed in critical condition at hospital. Crowd of visitors who witness attack include children. (Associated Press)
11/18/02 Pittsburgh, PA 18-year-old female African elephant knocks handler to ground with her head and crushes him to death. Incident occurs at Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium during routine morning walk of elephant and her 3-year-old baby on zoo's African Savannah trail before zoo opens. (Associated Press)
10/17/02 Southport, FL Samson, 500-lb. African lion at Knoll's 77 Zoological Park, attacks zookeeper who enters cage for photo. Lion grabs man, throws him in corner, and chews before releasing man. Zookeeper, who has hole ripped in throat, right eye pulled out of its socket, severed tendons in neck and chest, torn skin, bites down to bone, is listed in critical condition for 11 days. He loses 80% of eyesight and needs operation to restore vision. He has trained large animals since age 12 when he began training bears in circus in Europe. (Associated Press)
09/24/02 Gainesville, FL Director of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is working in 1 of parks' water lily gardens when 11-foot alligator, MoJo, bites off his right arm just below elbow. MoJo is harpooned, shot, and his stomach slit open to retrieve arm, but surgeons are unable to reattach arm. Man is listed in fair condition. (Associated Press, York News Times)
09/20/02 Scotts Valley, CA 150-pound tiger, Sima, lunges at 6-year-old boy at school assembly, grabbing boy's head in her jaws. Zoo to You brought 1-year-old declawed tiger to school to reward children selling magazine subscriptions. Boy needs 55 stitches to close wounds. (Associated Press and zootoyou.com)
09/05/02 Escondido, CA 200-pound west Caucasian tur, rare and endangered goat, gores zookeeper at San Diego Wild Animal Park, while woman cleans tur's pen. Puncture wound under her ribs requires surgery. (Associated Press)
08/04/02 Racine, MN While giving hug and putting monkey, JoJo, back in cage, volunteer at B.E.A.R.C.A.T. Hollow animal park is grabbed by hair. When volunteer tries to free herself, JoJo bites her on little finger of left hand. Volunteer must receive series of rabies shots. (Star Tribune, Duluth News-Tribune)
08/00/02 San Jose, CA Frightened zebra outside Ringling Bros. Circus dashes down public street, endangering himself and bystanders. Fortunately, no one is injured during animal's rampage. 2 years ago, 2 zebras escaped from same circus on same street. (In Defense of Animals)
06/19/02 Menomonie, WI Tory and Mary, 2 elephants performing with Shrine Circus, bolt out of circus tent during show, scattering crowds. Mary hikes 2 miles through town and is recaptured at University of Wisconsin-Stout campus when trucks block her route. 1 child is injured, and elephants damage door at park and cause $600 in damage to city truck. Shriners had contracted with George Carden Circus for event. (Associated Press)
05/12/02 Tampa, FL 350-pound African lion rips arm off 21-year-old Busch Gardens zookeeper while she is giving her family private tour. Injury is not first for Busch, which houses hippos, hyenas, baboons, and crocodiles. In 1989, animal keeper is crushed to death by 2-ton elephant. In 1993, rattlesnake bites zookeeper, who survives. And in 1999, woman claims Clydesdale horse bit off tip of her finger. (Tampa Tribune)
05/10/02 Sacramento, CA Tiger refuses to return to cage following performance of Circus Gatti prompting evacuation of spectators from arena. Both Sacramento police and SWAT teams are called and dispatched to scene. Tiger eventually tranquilized and returned to cage. (Police report)
04/02/02 Honolulu, HI Part-time zookeeper trainee woman is cleaning sleeping area of 2 Siamang gibbons at Honolulu Zoo when 34-year old female attacks. Partition separating keeper from gibbons is not properly locked. Keeper required 45 stitches to close wounds on her legs. (Star Tribune, Duluth News-Tribune)
03/13/02 Easley, SC Tonya, elephant belonging to Robert Childress and used in various circuses, escapes control of her handlers while she is loaded into trailer, flees into nearby woods, and is recaptured with assistance of police. This is 4th time that Tonya has run amok (see 06/21/00, 02/16/98, and 08/28/97). (Associated Press)
02/15/02 Pahrump, NV Animal exhibitor Karl Mitchell shoots and kills 1 of his tigers after animal becomes frightened and escapes his control while being moved to new residence. (Associated Press)
02/03/02 Loxahatchee, FL Woman is hospitalized in critical condition with skull fracture after she is attacked and bitten by 750-pound declawed tiger. Woman had been painting in preparation for photo shoot at Steve Sipekís private animal compound. (Associated Press)
02/02/02 Miami, FL While being led to holding pen at Miami Metrozoo, 1,400-pound camel knocks handler to ground and rolls and stomps on him. Camel was 1 of 3 giving children rides at zoos throughout Miami-Dade County. Handler is airlifted to hospital and later released. (Ananova News Search, Miami Herald)
01/24/02 Gentry, AR 2 animal handlers at Wild Wilderness Drive Thru Safari are attacked while transferring cougars between cages. 1 handler receives multiple bites on arm and leg, and other is bitten in face. (Associated Press)
01/16/02 Pickering, ONT, Canada 500-pound tiger used for photo ops with small children and strippers snaps her tether, escapes, and wanders streets near Toronto, alarming residents. Helicopter and more than half dozen police cruisers are dispatched to locate and recapture tiger. (Associated Press)
12/09/01 Davie, FL 7-year-old boy is taken to hospital for stitches after being attacked and bitten "bone-deep" on neck by 40-pound declawed African serval at PepsiCo International picnic. Child is walking by when unattended serval leaps on him and knocks him to ground. Pangaea Productions hired to bring serval and other animals to event as entertainment. (Associated Press)
12/02/01 Bloomington, IL 32-year old visitor at Miller Park Zoo climbs 4-foot fence to pet snow leopard. Leopard swipes at visitor and punctures skin of left hand. Zoo staff tracks trail of blood to victim who declines to go to hospital. (The Pantagraph)
12/00/01 Racine, MN Young bear escapes from B.E.A.R.C.A.T. Hollow animal park. (Duluth News-Tribune)
10/27/01 Charlotte, NC 2 elephants leased by Hawthorn Corporation to Circus Vazquez rampage through church. 2 church members are nearly trampled, and children are quickly ushered to safety. Elephants crash into church through glass window, break and buckle walls and door frames, and knock car 15 feet, causing estimated $75,000 in damages. Elephants suffer cuts and bruises. 1 elephant had rampaged twice before (see 07/10/95 and 05/19/95) (Charlotte Observer and Associated Press)
10/15/01 Dallas, TX 2 rhinos battle at Brownsville Zoo, resulting in death of 1 and serious injury to maintenance worker. Female rhinoceros and 2 male rhinos are mistakenly put together in exhibit meant to have 2 females and 1 male. (Dallas Morning News)
08/23/01 Knoxville, TN 40-year-old elephant, Mamie, spooked by something she sees, breaks free from her handlers and injures 2 elephant handlers. She breaks through metal gate and charges onto wood patio. Patio not designed to hold her weight begins to break, upsetting her more. Injured employees suffer head gashes and 1 broken rib. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
07/31/01 Center Hill, FL 500-pound male Siberian tiger at Savage Kingdom breaks into adjoining cage and fatally mauls workman who there  to make repairs. Tiger is shot by park's operator. (Associated Press)
07/22/01 Racine, WI Tiger at B.E.A.R.C.A.T. Hollow pushes his way out of pen and grabs 7-year-old girl, inflicting 2 puncture wounds. Park was closed to public but girl and her mother were allowed in to take fund-raising pictures. (Associated Press)
06/10/01 Austin, TX Monkeys escape their cages at Austin Zoo and attack woman visitor, biting and scratching her. Woman receives stitches and tetanus shot. (Yahoo.com)
06/10/01 Denver, CO Frightened by falling water drum, elephant runs out of bathing area at Denver Zoo and knocks over baby stroller before being recaptured. Baby is treated at local hospital and released. (Associated Press)
06/09/01 Los Angeles, CA Komodo dragon bites and crushes big toe of Phil Bronstein, executive editor of San Francisco Chronicle, while Bronstein is inside animal's cage on behind-the-scenes tour of Los Angeles Zoo. Bronstein is hospitalized for emergency surgery to reattach severed tendons. (Reuters)
04/21/01 Hillboro, MO 3 chimpanzees wander out from behind unlocked fence at ChimParty, facility that rents primates for parties and commercials. 1 chimp is shot by neighbor who feels threatened by animals; animal later euthanized. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
03/25/01 Las Vegas, NV Bengal tiger working with Wildlife Safari kills trainer and injures his owner while being prepared for advertising photography shoot. (Las Vegas Sun)
03/25/01 Sequin, WA Zebra bites arm of 3-year-old boy attempting to feed bread to llamas through car window at Olympic Game Farm. Boy pulled from vehicle and dragged until rescued by relative. Stitches required to close wound on arm. (Spokesman Review)
03/25/01 Allentown, PA Poisonous cobra bites snake charmer in front of crowd of about 500 people during performance of Royal Palace Circus. Man rushed to hospital for emergency treatment. (The Morning Call)
03/19/01 Olmsted, OH Volunteer at Burnette Farm and Education Center attacked by Siberian tiger as he shovels gravel in animal's cage. Man suffered life-threatening injuries from bite on neck. (Akron Beacon Journal)
11/04/00 Worcester, PA Health officials link 11 cases of E. coli infection in children to petting zoo at Merrymead Farm. 8 children are hospitalized, and 6 develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney damage. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
10/21/00 Gambier, OH Tiger at Siberian Tiger Foundation bites 10-year-old boy on leg. Boy and his father had paid to enter compound for "close encounter" with Siberian tigers chained to posts. Boy treated at local hospital and released. According to USDA, 10 instances of people being injured by tigers occurred in previous 9-month period at this facility. (Columbus Dispatch)
10/12/00 Los Angeles, CA Gorilla escapes from enclosure at Los Angeles Zoo and wanders the grounds until subdued by tranquilizer dart. No visitors or staff injured in incident. (Sacramento Bee)
09/13/00 Albuquerque, NM Tiger cub being used in petting zoo at New Mexico State Fair bites man on arm as man is having his picture taken with cub. Visitor treated for minor injuries. (KOB-TV)
08/12/00 Boise, ID Tiger mauls woman attending fundraiser for Zoo Boise when tiger slips through cage door. Woman wounded by bullet fired to subdue animal and hospitalized with broken leg and puncture wounds. (CNN.com)
07/24/00 Dallas, TX Chimpanzee at Dallas Zoo escapes enclosure and attacks zookeeper before making her way into nearby neighborhood where she is electrocuted on power lines. Zookeeper treated for several scratches. (Dallas Morning News)
06/21/00 Washington, PA Young elephant with Circus Hope, apparently disturbed by several children playing toy horns, walks away from her trainers in parking lot of shopping center. Through combined efforts of trainers, police, and security patrol, animal is quieted and led back to her tent. (Observer-Reporter)
06/09/00 Everett, WA Health officials link 6 cases of E. coli infection in children to The Farm petting zoo. 3 children hospitalized. Bacterium apparently spread by water in bucket in which children washed their hands. (Associated Press)
06/07/00 Loves Park, IL Police shut down 2 lanes of highway while they try to corral 10 ponies loose from Sterling & Reid Circus. No injuries reported to ponies or residents. (Rockford Register Star)
06/02/00 Hartford, CT 2-month-old colt with National Hispanic Circus runs loose in parking lot and collides with slow-moving car. Animal is euthanized after determining that leg is broken beyond medical help. (Hartford Courant)
06/00/00 Bloomington, IL Man jumps fence to outdoor snow leopard exhibit, sticks his hand through cage, and is bitten by 1 of 2 cats at Miller Park Zoo. Man suffers only minor injuries. (The Pantagraph)
05/30/00 Pensacola, FL Orangutan at The Zoo escapes through cage door left unlocked and then attacks and bites keeper who tries to coax animal back inside. Keeper treated at local hospital for bruises and 5 bite wounds to knee. (Pensacola News Journal)
05/20/00 Kiowa, CO Bengal tiger at Prairie Wind Animal Refuge tears arm off volunteer who sticks her arm in animal's cage to demonstrate that visitors can safely pet tigers at refuge. Refuge operates photo safari program where some animals are released from their cages and allowed to roam with visitors. (Denver Rocky Mountain News)
05/16/00 Brewster, MA Bengal tiger at Bassett Wild Animal Farm attacks teenage worker when girl enters cage's feeding area, apparently unaware trap door was open. Girl treated for puncture wounds to leg. (USA Today)
04/20/00 Yucca Valley, CA Elephant with Culpepper and Merriweather Circus breaks loose following performance, steps on circus ticket-taker and wanders down local street before being captured by circus handlers. Ticket-taker suffers possible broken hip. After elephant recaptured, 3 circus horses get loose and are returned by workers. (Associated Press)
04/02/00 Metairie, LA Bear traveling with Sterling and Reid Bros. Circus topples out of circus trailer and onto Interstate 10, stalling traffic for 3 hours while wary motorists contain animal and wait for help. (The Times-Picayune)
01/26/00 Riverview, FL Elephant at winter facility of Ramos Family Circus breaks away from tether to tree and attacks and stomps to death female family member. Other elephant at compound involved in 02/21/99 incident at Poughkeepsie, NY. (St. Petersburg Times)
01/05/00 Cut and Shoot, TX 1 of 6 elephants escapes and wanders onto neighboring property and presses against family's sliding glass door, then crashes through fence to return. Elephant is owned by Bill Swain, who books elephants, lamas, and camels at performances throughout country, under name of Trunks and Humps, Inc. (Houston Chronicle, Las Vegas Sun)
12/22/99 Madison, WI Elephant at Henry Vilas Zoo attacks zookeeper and veterinarian while vet checks her chronically sore feet. Zookeeper treated and released from local hospital. After attack, fresh puncture wound observed above elephant's eye. Elephant involved in previous incident 07/09/98. (Wisconsin State Journal)
10/30/99 Buffalo, NY Clouded leopard at Buffalo Zoo bites and claws seasonal zookeeper who enters cat's cage. (Buffalo News)
10/20/99 Evansville, IN Lion at Mesker Park Zoo mauls zookeeper, causing severe injury to right arm. Keeper was attempting to move lion to outdoor exhibit when attack occurred. (Evansville Courier & Press)
10/04/99 Dallas, TX Elephant walks out of her performance at Texas State Fair and into intersection filled with spectators, causing traffic jam.
08/14/99 Clermont, IA Black bear cub with Swenson's Wild Midwest Exotic Petting Zoo taken to barnwarming where it reportedly nips people. Bear dies 2 weeks later of rabies after having potentially infected more than 400 people. (Centers for Disease Control)
06/19/99 Wichita, KS Tiger at Safari Zoological Park bites woman when she sticks arm inside cage. Woman is hospitalized for injuries and receives rabies shots. (Wichita Eagle)
06/06/99 Yorktown, TX Male tiger jumps on 10-year-old girl who enters cage with stepfather to groom animal. Girl is dragged through cage and dies of head and neck injuries. Stepfather took tiger to exotic animal shows and had applied for USDA exhibitor license at time of attack. (Associated Press)
05/14/99 Rexburg, ID Bear bites employee at drive-through animal park, Yellowstone Bear World. Woman treated for minor injuries. (Associated Press)
05/12/99 Bethune, SC After riding elephant named Flora, trainer tries to get off but falls under elephant, who steps on her. Trainer is flown to hospital and suffers broken leg. Another trainer, working with Flora at time, is not injured. (Associated Press)
04/24/99 Duluth, MN Elephant traveling with Tarzan Zerbini International Circus breaks free of rear shackle and seriously injures circus worker. (Duluth News-Tribune)
04/10/99 Pearland, TX Tiger at roadside zoo attacks and injures handler.
03/31/99 Tyler, TX Tiger at animal compound attacks volunteer when she reaches in cage to pet animal. Woman's arm nearly severed.
03/16/99 Colorado Springs, CO Leopard at Colorado Springs Zoo bites 6-year-old on face and neck when boy leans into animal's cage. (Reuters)
02/28/99 Salt Lake City, UT 2 chimpanzees at Hogle Zoo escape and attack 2 employees, critically injuring 1. 1 employee had no training in working with primates and other only limited experience with chimps. (Salt Lake City Tribune)
02/21/99 Poughkeepsie, NY Elephant in Hanneford Circus escapes ring and charges toward crowd. 3 people injured while fleeing. (Poughkeepsie Journal)
01/07/99 Wichita, KS Tiger cub from Safari Zoological Park bites throat of 5-year-old boy at private residence where tiger is taken following television appearance. Boy receives 29 stitches to close wound. (Wichita Eagle)
11/21/98 Chicago, IL Tiger with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus escapes from cage and seriously wounds animal trainer. (Associated Press)
11/13/98 Gainesville, FL 5 weeks after killing trainer, white Bengal tiger kills owner by biting her in neck while she hand-feeds him. Animal performed with Ron and Joy Holiday's Cat Dancers. (St. Petersburg Times)
11/09/98 Indianapolis, IN Elephant at Indianapolis Zoo bludgeons zookeeper with her trunk, breaking woman's ribs. Keeper was bathing elephant at time of attack. (Associated Press)
10/08/98 Gainesville, FL Tiger described in 11/13/98 incident kills trainer after being startled while being moved from one cage to another. (Reuters)
09/28/98 Dallas, TX 340-pound gorilla escapes from his room at Dallas Zoo, raids kitchen, bites keeper and then drags her down hallway. (Associated Press)
09/20/98 Oklahoma City, OK Tapir (large hoglike animal) pulls Oklahoma City Zoo keeper into its cage and bites her arm off as she tries to feed animal. Woman also suffers facial injuries and punctured lung. Although cause of attack is unknown, tapir's baby was also in cage at time. (Associated Press)
09/02/98 Citrus Park, FL Black leopard attacks volunteer worker attempting to pet animal through cage at Wildlife on Easy Street. Wounds to arm required 451 stitches to close. (Sarasota Herald Tribune)
08/29/98 Syracuse, NY Elephant with Commerford Petting Zoo giving rides at New York State Fair panics, injuring trainer and 3-year-old who fall from back of animal. (Syracuse Herald)
07/31/98 Vallejo, CA Tiger mauls woman tourist during photo shoot at Marine World, seriously injuring her and scratching trainer who comes to her aid. (Associated Press)
07/30/98 Bismarck, ND Bengal tiger with Bridgeport Nature Center mauls 5-year-old boy at North Dakota State Fair photo shoot. (Associated Press)
07/09/98 Madison, WI 2 elephants at Henry Vilas Zoo injure zookeeper by picking him up, throwing him to ground, and kneeling on him. 1 elephant had attacked zookeepers twice before.
04/07/98 Charlotte, NC Lion at Charlotte Metro Zoo attacks and seriously injures worker cleaning animal's cage. Worker suffers puncture wounds to both legs and back of head. (Greensboro News & Record)
03/08/98 Tulsa, OK 2 elephants at Tulsa Zoo push on walls of their enclosure until fence crumples under their weight.
02/21/98 Indio, CA Elephant named Barbara is being led, along with some camels, to place in Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival parade when marching band spooks her. Barbara bolts back to her pen with Festival Queen Sheherazade on her back. No one is injured. (The Desert Sun)
02/16/98 Mentor, OH Circus elephant panics at high school, runs off for quarter mile, damages police car. (Associated Press)
02/09/98 Lincolnton, NC Leopard attacks trainer during Royal Palace Circus show. (Charlotte Observer)
01/07/98 St. Petersburg, FL Tiger with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus grabs trainer by head and drags him around ring, inflicting severe head injuries. (Reuters)
12/28/97 Charlotte County, FL Baboon at Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary grabs 6-year-old girl, inflicting minor injuries. (Sarasota Herald Tribune)
12/15/97 Sarasota, FL Lioness at Kissimmee Zoo escapes while handlers fix her cage. Animal recaptured after spending 2 days in swamp near zoo. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
10/15/97 Los Angeles, CA Black panther bites animal trainer, breaking her ankle, during shooting of movie Swiss Family Robinson. (Los Angeles Times)
10/06/97 South Barrington, IL Baboon attacks 4-year-old girl at Goebbert's Pumpkin Farm and Petting Zoo, leaving permanent scars on girl's arms.
08/28/97 York Beach, ME Elephants leased for rides to Wild Animal Kingdom run away from trainer during morning exercises after being startled by truck. (Portland Press Herald)
08/11/97 Little Rock, AR Grizzly bear at Little Rock Zoo escapes her pen and rummages through garbage cans in zoo until zookeeper discovers her during night. Bear is darted and returned to bear exhibit. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
08/07/97 Salt Lake City, UT Gorilla at Hogle Zoo attacks primate supervisor, causing permanent nerve damage to man's left arm. (Deseret News)
06/28/97 Seagoville, TX Man who enters animal area for Clyde Bros. Johnson Circus is attacked by elephant and suffers broken arm and dislocated shoulder.
05/28/97 Gainesville, TX Elephant at Frank Buck Zoo crushes her handler to death when he enters animal's pen to move her to another pen. (Associated Press)
05/27/97 Little Rock, AR 2 gorillas at Little Rock Zoo escape cage during night and remain loose in room next to their outdoor area until discovered next morning by zoo employees. 1 gorilla is darted and both led back to their cage. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
05/07/97 Carrollton, PA Tiger with Frazen Bros. Circus kills trainer in front of 200 kids. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
05/04/97 Knox County, TN "Liger" mauls 4-year-old boy at Joe Robinson's Farm roadside zoo, when boy gets too close to animal's cage. Boy hospitalized with lacerations to right leg and buttock. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
04/27/97 Oklahoma City, OK Leopard escapes cage and kills woman at Oak Hill Center for Rare and Endangered Species exotic animal rehabilitation center. Animal escapes into woods and is later shot by police. (Associated Press)
04/27/97 San Antonio, TX Tiger bites off man's finger and injures his friend when they break into Wild Animal Orphanage and try to pet tiger. (San Antonio Express-News)
04/24/97 Salisbury, NC Chimpanzee escapes from roadside zoo, Charlotte Metro Zoo, and attacks woman in car, damaging car. (Charlotte News Observer)
03/22/97 Hudson, CO Lion at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center bites left arm of man who sticks it inside animal's cage. Man suffers ligament damage and broken arm. (Greeley Tribune)
03/19/97 Orlando, FL Tiger mauls keeper at Savage Kingdom exotic cat breeding compound, severely mangling man's leg. (Associated Press)
03/18/97 San Antonio, TX Tiger escapes from Wild Animal Orphange, kills duck and ostrich and wounds llama before being caught. (San Antonio Express-News)
12/28/96 Brooklyn Park, MN 7-month-old Bengal tiger having photograph taken at store scratches 2 pet store workers and bites 1. (Reuters)
10/20/96 Los Angeles, CA Elephant attacks assistant trainer during training exercise at Los Angeles Zoo, breaking 3 ribs and collarbone.
10/13/96 Daytona Beach, FL Child riding elephant at Octoberfest festival knocks her head when she slips in seat and falls on her side. Girl taken to hospital for treatment of possible concussion. (Daytona Beach News Journal)
10/09/96 Las Vegas, NV Animal trainer undergoes surgery after being mauled by tiger.
07/27/96 Cincinnati, OH Bengal tiger from Cincinnati Zoo mauls 7-year-old daughter of zoo education director as animal is about to appear on television show with girl's father. Girl suffers injuries to face and scalp. (Cincinnati Post)
07/20/96 Mechanicstown, NY Worker at Orange County Fair scales safety fence and puts arm into cage of 3 Bengal tigers with Commerford Petting Zoo. Female tiger bites down on man's arm, causing lacerations to hand and wrist. (Times Herald Record)
06/14/96 Casper, WY Elephant with Jordan World Circus frightened by horse and knocks down and repeatedly kicks her trainer. Elephant giving rides at time at Central Wyoming Fairgrounds. 1 child falls off elephant during incident. (Casper Star Tribune)
06/05/96 Manorville, NY Chimpanzee at Long Island Game Farm escapes from his enclosure when door left unlocked. Animal runs through park, grabbing and scratching children until shot to death by park official. (Newsday)
03/05/96 Comfort, TX 2 elephants from King Royal Circus are scheduled to race down Highway 473 carrying riders from local high school. Before race begins, 1 rider falls off elephant's back and suffers 2 broken ribs and arm and wrist injuries. Trainers move elephant away to avoid further injuries. Race continues when another rider volunteers and both riders take turns riding 2nd elephant. (The Boerne Star)
01/05/96 Vallejo, CA 2 trainers at Marine World wild animal park slightly injured when 2 cougars they are exercising attack. (San Francisco Chronicle)
12/18/95 Fort Worth, TX Sumatran tiger bursts through chain-link fence and attacks animal handler at Fort Worth Zoo, sending him to hospital with cuts and scratches. (Houston Chronicle)
11/11/95 Memphis, TN 2 tigers maul man who enters enclosure at Memphis Zoo. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
11/02/95   Then-Speaker of U.S. House Newt Gingrich bitten on chin while holding baby cougar.
09/30/95 Indianapolis, IN Lion with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus bites off index finger of woman who puts hand in cage. (Associated Press)
09/27/95 Lava Hot Springs, ID 15 lions shot and killed after escape from Ligertown Game Farm. Game farm owners treated for injuries after attack by at least 1 of the cats. (Associated Press, USA Today)
09/00/95 Bloomington, IL Man climbs fence to snow leopard exhibit at Miller Park Zoo to pat leopard on head. When leopard latches onto man's hand, man jerks free and sustains 3-1/2-inch cut on palm. (The Pantagraph)
08/06/95 Phoenix, AZ Mountain lion at Phoenix Zoo gashes 5-year-old's arm after he wanders too close to animal's cage and waves stick at animal. (Arizona Republic)
07/10/95 Queens, NY 2 elephants with Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus become agitated and go on rampage, triggering panic among spectators. 7 spectators treated for minor injuries. (Associated Press)
05/28/95 Novi, MI 7 lions and tigers topple onto freeway after trailer comes unhitched; 1 tiger on loose for 4 hours. Animals were on way to Home Depot store for photo shoot. (Associated Press)
05/19/95 Hanover, PA 2 elephants with Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus go on rampage at mall, smashing store windows and damaging cars. 1 elephant had killed woman in 1985. (Gettysburg Times)
05/06/95 Bronx, NY Horse traveling with Circus With a Purpose "goes berserk" and tips over children's cart, causing panic. 20 children and 2 adults treated for injuries. (Newsday)
03/05/95 Washington, DC Lions kill and partially devour woman who enters enclosure at National Zoo. Death later ruled suicide. (Associated Press)
02/06/95 Fort Wayne, IN Elephant with Tarzan Zerbini Circus steps on circus employee, causing crushed pelvis. Incident occurs as workers load animals and equipment following close of the circus. (News-Sentinel)
12/29/94 Scottsbluff, NE Leopard attacks zookeeper at Riverside Zoo, causing serious injuries to woman's throat, face and chest. (Associated Press)
10/11/94 San Diego, CA San Diego Zoo animal trainer Joan Embery suffers deep gashes on face while exhibiting cheetah on television show.
10/10/94 Riley County, KS 3-year-old girl trying to feed elephant with King Royal Circus is grabbed around neck by elephant, causing minor injuries.
08/20/94 Honolulu, HI Tyke, elephant with Circus I, nternational, kills her trainer, injures circus groom and dozen spectators, and rampages through city before she is shot to death by police. (Associated Press)
08/04/94 Laie, HI Elephant with Circus International knocks down metal barrier at arena, pinning family to bleachers. (Associated Press)
07/18/94 New York, NY Elephant with Moscow Circus attacks translator offstage at ABC's Live with Regis and Kathie Lee television show. Woman suffers skull fracture, broken ribs, and punctured lung. (Associated Press)
06/30/94 Louisville, KY Elephant used for giving rides at Louisville Zoological Gardens escapes by unlatching gate and attacks zoo visitor. Man suffers serious injuries to spleen and pancreas when elephant picks up and drops him several times. (Associated Press)
06/18/94 Columbia, SC Tiger at Taylor's Exotics, exotic animal farm, mauls 17-year-old worker when gate to cage accidentally comes open during cleaning. (The State)
06/06/94 Miami, FL Tiger mauls and kills senior zookeeper at Miami Metrozoo when keeper opens door to cage. (Miami Herald)
04/25/94 (reported) Muskegon, MI During intermission of Tarzan Zerbini Circus, elephant rides are offered. 1 elephant falls into passenger loading platform, emptying passengers underneath platform, and bending it. 3 children are injured. (The Circus Report)
04/13/94 Manchester, NH Model bitten by lion during photo shoot.
04/06/94 Salt Lake City, UT While giving rides at Jordan Circus, elephant picks up, tosses, and steps on trainer, causing internal organ damage. 2 children riding elephant are unhurt. (Associated Press)
04/04/94 Jackson, MS Cheetah at Jackson Zoo scales fence and pounces on 8-year-old boy. Child treated for cuts and bruises. (Associated Press)
02/24/94 Chicago, IL Elephant handler suffers serious injuries when she slips under elephant she is trying to secure after elephant breaks through holding area at Lincoln Park Zoo.
01/30/94 Cleveland, OH Elephant at Cleveland Zoo lunges at keeper, gashing his head.
12/12/93 Palm Beach, FL Lion attacks worker at Lion Country Safari, inflicting severe puncture wounds to head and chest. (Miami Herald)
09/14/93 Joplin, MO Tiger on animal farm attacks employee and bites off part of arm. (Associated Press)
09/02/93 Vallejo, CA Radio personality doing show at Marine World is injured when elephant he is riding runs across public area and throws him onto cement path. (Oakland Tribune)
07/30/93 Tampa, FL Elephant at Lowry Park Zoo pins keeper to ground and kicks her in head, killing her. (Associated Press)
07/23/93 Minot, ND Tyke, elephant described in 08/94 incident, tramples elephant show worker at the North Dakota State Fair, breaking 2 of his ribs. (St. Louis Dispatch)
06/05/93 Fishkill, NY Elephant with Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus pins man against trailer at circus grounds and crushes him to death. (New York Times)
05/06/93 Las Vegas, NV Lion attacks Circus Vargas employee feeding group of 3 lions at Las Vegas residence.
05/06/93 Bronx, NY 2 lions at Bronx Zoo maul man who climbs into their cage. Man receives 19 stitches to head and face. (Associated Press)
05/05/93 Williston, FL Elephant at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus compound knocks down trainer, stomps on chest, kills him. (Associated Press)
04/21/93 Altoona, PA Tyke, described in 08/94 and 07/93 incidents, injures young girl while charging through arena during Great American Circus performance. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
04/17/93 Little Rock, AR Siberian tiger with Jordan Brothers Circus escapes into stands during Shrine-sponsored circus performance. 13-year-old girl is bitten, causing 7 puncture wounds on back of leg. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
02/24/93 Norfolk, VA Trainer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is mauled when breaking up fight between 2 lions. (Virginian-Pilot)
12/15/92 San Antonio, TX Elephant keeper at San Antonio Zoo is killed when elephant grabs man and slams him to ground. Keeper is bending down to unfasten elephant from tether in yard when incident occurs. (San Antonio Express-News)
11/30/92 Pahrump, NV Tiger attacks Circus Vargas trainer, causing severe injuries.
10/14/92 Bloomington, MN Before performance of Zuhria Shrine Circus, elephant rides are given. After several trips with children and adults on its back, elephant loses balance and grabs trainer with mouth. 1 child suffers scrape on leg. Trainer suffers gash on upper leg and is taken to hospital. Elephant rides are again performed at intermission and after show. (United Press International)
09/27/92 Reno, NV Tiger bites arm and leg of illusionist Johnathan Pendragon during performance at Reno Hilton, inflicting deep puncture wounds. (Reno Gazette-Journal)
09/17/92 Tucson, AZ Lion cub bites arm of 3-year-old girl at Reid Park Zoo.
08/29/92 Indianapolis, IN 4 people, including 2 children, fall off elephant giving rides at Indianapolis Zoo. Injured children are treated at local hospital and released. (Indianapolis Star)
07/14/92 Lafayette, IN Elephants are being led around ring at Tarzan Zerbini Circus when 1 stops and next elephant bumped into 1st, knocking it into barricade, which topples into crowd. 9 people are injured and 1 woman is taken to hospital suffering from panic attack. (Washington Times)
06/13/92 Tampa, FL Elephant named Tillie is being positioned for performance at Lowry Park Zoo when she tries to push trainer into moat surrounding exhibit. Trainer and another return Tillie to barn where she is disciplined, chained, and put through series of commands. Tillie obeys and is returned to outdoor exhibit. (St. Petersburg Times)
02/01/92 Palm Beach, FL Elephant with Great American Circus rampages and charges midway in circus tent while giving rides. Woman and 4 children taking ride are rescued but elephant hits police officer, uses her trunk to throw him twice to ground. Animal is shot and killed by police. 12 people are injured during panic, none seriously. (Miami Herald)
12/24/91 Houston, TX Elephant attacks trainer at Houston Zoo and breaks his collarbone and 4 ribs.
12/01/91 Baton Rouge, LA Chimpanzee escapes from local amusement park, snarling traffic and injuring 2 people before being subdued with tranquilizer darts. (Associated Press)
05/13/91   Lion with Kessler Bros. Circus puts head of animal trainer in her mouth, suffocating man before animal is shot and killed.
04/18/91 Wilkesboro, NC Leopard with Great American Circus jumps out of ring and bites 3-year-old girl on neck. (Charlotte Observer)
03/14/91 San Diego, CA Keeper at San Diego Wild Animal Park is kicked in head and killed while attempting to break up fight between 2 elephants. (Associated Press)
01/12/91 Oakland, CA Elephant at Oakland Zoo kicks to death handler cleaning his pen. (San Jose Mercury News)
00/00/91 Portland, OR Elephant named Tamba slams trainer against wall at Portland Zoo. Elephant is kept away from people while incident is evaluated. 7 months later, Tamba knocks same man down, fracturing his skull. Man returns to job but zoo officials keep him away from elephant. (St. Petersburg Times)
11/05/90 Phoenix, AZ Tiger being walked on leash by his trainer at Phoenix resort attacks woman visitor, inflicting severe puncture wounds to leg. (Phoenix Gazette)
10/00/90 Indianapolis, IN Father and son fall from elephant they ride at Indianapolis Zoo. Man suffers dislocated hip and severe groin injury, later sues for lost wages and trauma from incident. (Indianapolis Star 09/03/92)
06/20/90 Miami, FL Circus elephant with Hanneford Family Circus is startled by passing car while being led to appearance at swap shop. Elephant falls on her handler who is crushed to death while animal struggles to get back on her feet. (Miami Herald)
06/18/90 Sidney, MT Leopard at petting zoo bites 7-year-old visitor.
06/08/90 Reading, PA Elephant with the Great American Circus goes on rampage, injuring her trainer and 1 spectator. (Reading Eagle)
05/30/90 San Francisco, CA Leopard at San Francisco Zoo attacks and mauls zookeeper, causing deep wounds to man's neck. (Associated Press)
04/10/90 Oakdale, CA Elephant from Marine World Africa USA giving rides throws off passengers, dragging 1 person 40 feet.
03/19/90 West Palm Beach, FL Rampaging elephant at Lion Country Safari gores handler with her tusks after animal lifts man with her trunk, spins him around, and throws him twice to ground. Handler survives after emergency surgery. (Miami Herald)
02/13/90 San Francisco, CA Elephant at San Francisco Zoo pushes elephant keeper into moat, causing him to suffer fractured back. (San Jose Mercury News)

Note: Source:  www.api4animals.org.  For more information, including sources of the above incidents, contact the Animal Protection Institute