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Which Circuses Still Use Animals?

As in years past, many circuses have taken a hiatus over the summertime, and some have yet to reappear since the beginning of the pandemic.

Here is a quick guide to the largest circuses that continue to use animals:

Carden International Circus: Owns elephants and travels with them, as well as other animals including camels. Occasionally performs as a "*Shrine Circus." Sometimes rents their elephants to other circuses. On hiatus for the summer of 2021, but has stated they will return in the Fall.

Carson & Barnes Circus: Owns numerous elephants and travels with them in circus performances. Thye also own the "Endangered Ark Foundation"--which is not a sanctuary but a stable of elephants presently or previously used in their circus. Carson & Barnes is currently touring a show that does not use animals.

Culpepper & Merriweather Circus: Owns and uses big cats in their circus performances. They are presently touring in the midwest.

Garden Bros Circus: Previously toured with elephants, but is not at present. Please know that Garden Bros has not made a formal commitment to discontinue using elephants, so it is possible they could return to their show. Garden Bros does still offer camel rides and utilize farmed and domestic animals in their shows. Touring this summer.

Jordan World Circus: Has not reappeared since the pandemic, but previously toured with leased animal acts including elephants, tigers, camels, ponies and other animals.

Loomis Bros Circus: Uses elephants and tigers. They are the only circus that has been consistently touring with them during the pandemic. They are intermittently on the road this summer with elephants Okha and Kosti. Visit for the latest protest dates.

Royal Hanneford Circus: Uses elephants and has a residency at Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin over the summer. Learn more about Circus World. In previous years, Lisa, Tracy, and Becky--owned by Carson & Barnes--were used in Royal Hanneford performances at Circus World.

Tarzan Zerbini Circus: Owns and uses elephants and is intermittently traveling with elephants Marie and Schell. No performances are scheduled at present. Not to be confused with Zerbini Family Circus, which does not use elephants but does use domestic animals.

UniverSoul Circus: Is not presently using elephants and tigers. It is unclear if they will in the future. Domestic animals and camels continue to appear.

*Shrine Circus: Shrine circuses are a pseudonym used by circuses when the are performing on behalf of a Shrine chapter. Many of the circuses above perform as "Shrine Circus". For detailed information on Shrine Circuses, please visit our dedicated page:

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