November 29, 2021

PETA has obtained damning video footage from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection of Adam Burck — a scofflaw exhibitor and big-cat supplier to circuses such as Jordan World Circus — revealing tigers kept in crates so small that the animals barely have room to turn around as they pace back and forth, likely out of distress and agitation. The footage shows a yellow liquid covering the floor of a crate holding an elderly, underweight tiger named Shere Khan and another tiger named Isis drinking dirty liquid off the floor and reacting with disgust. Watch the video now:

According to the USDA’s accompanying report, Burck neglected to provide the thin, aging tiger with adequate veterinary care and kept tigers inside the stinking, poorly ventilated barn—which hit 92 degrees during the inspector’s visit. The tigers spend most of their lives in these cages and were held in them for over a year when not being used in performances. The report also notes that the barn in which Burck kept the tigers lacked a perimeter fence and posed a “constant, ongoing potential threat” to public safety.

USDA inspection reveals tiger suffering in crate in Adam Burck barn

Shortly after that inspection, the USDA slapped Burck with an official warning, informing him that future violations could result in additional enforcement actions. Two weeks later, the agency cited him again for keeping tigers in travel crates most of the time.

After citing and warning Adam Burck, the USDA canceled his exhibitor’s license.

Despite this cancellation, PETA received video footage of Burck illegally exhibiting tigers at the Hadi Shrine Circus in Evansville, Indiana, last week. We rushed a complaint to local authorities, who confirmed that his unlicensed tiger act was removed from subsequent performances. Even though Burck can no longer legally exhibit tigers, they likely remain warehoused on his property.

“Horrifying videos reveal tigers suffering in stench and slop in Adam Burck’s barn. The days of using tigers in tawdry shows are over, and PETA is calling on Burck to stop flouting the law and send these animals to reputable sanctuaries where they’d finally have space to stretch out and room to roam.”

—Debbie Metzler, PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement

To an audience, an animal circus is a passing distraction. But for the tigers forced to perform against their will, every day is a living hell. Burck isn’t a lone bad apple—the suffering of tigers is business as usual in traveling circus shows.

Learn More: Read PETA’s Big-Cat Report

Urge Burck to Move the Tigers to Accredited Sanctuaries

Tigers used for Burck’s traveling act are held in transport cages almost their entire lives. When they’re on the road—which can be upwards of 11 months a year—he has a written policy stating that they must be in transport cages “at all times” except while performing, suggesting that they’re denied any meaningful exercise.

Please politely ask Burck to do what’s right and move these tigers to accredited sanctuaries:

Take Action for Tigers