CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The "Greatest Show on Earth" was protested outside of a local elementary school Thursday.
PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, greeted students outside of Marion-Sterling Elementary School with an elephant wearing a bloody bandage wrapped around a bullhook wound on its head Thursday afternoon.
The organization says the demonstration shows kids how circuses hurt animals.
PETA protested at the school around 2:30 p.m., just as the kids were getting out for the day.
The elephant handed out activity booklets while others PETA protestors explained to kids and their parents that animals used by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which is scheduled to visit Cleveland soon, are jabbed with spiked, metal bullhooks and beaten to make them perform difficult tricks that are confusing and sometimes painful to them.
"If children knew how animals suffer behind the scenes, their smiles would quickly turn to frowns," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.
A recent PETA undercover investigation of Ringling Bros. revealed that circus employees-including an animal superintendent and a head elephant trainer-used sharp, metal-tipped bullhooks to strike elephants on the head, ears, and trunk and to yank them with steel barbs.