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According to a whistleblower, on July 14, Clyde, a young, healthy lion traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus was traveling from Phoenix, Ariz., to Fresno, Calif.

The train was crossing the Mojave Desert, where temperatures reached at least 100°F on Monday, July 12. The lions were on the train for three days without being checked or provided with water. Clydes dead body was discovered when the circus train stopped just before arriving in Fresno. This lion is believed to have died a miserable death from heatstroke and dehydration. Circus officials reportedly brought in a U-Haul to remove Clydes corpse.

This incident is nearly identical to a July 2000 tragedy in which two of Ringlings tigers injured themselves while attempting to escape from their cages in an overheated boxcar. The tigers were in immediate danger because of an excessive rise in temperature.

Please contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture and politely ask them to thoroughly investigate this incident and file charges against Ringling for its chronic failure to provide adequate care to animals in transit:

Chester A. Gipson, DVM

Associate Deputy Administrator


4700 River Rd., Unit 84


301-734-4993 (fax)

[email protected]
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