Born in 1974 Tyke was taken from her family and settled in the circus. She lived in a horrible place walking on pins and needles every day. And then on the 20th of August Tyke just snapped…
I hate sad stories but Tyke has to be a reminder that animals don’t belong to circus, and that we must try harder to help the ones that are still alive and need our help!
Tyke couldn’t bear the torture anymore. She could not dance and perform while in pains, or to listen to all these people who were chanting and shouting whenever she came to the podium. Her escape ended up tragically, so she has become a symbol of misery of all animals in circuses.
When Tyke was separated from their family she was still a baby. She spent her childhood, and her whole life in small cages. She has been beaten every day in order to break her spirit and start to obey her master. Metal stick with a sharp end, especially designed for the torture of elephants in circuses, was leaving traces of blood on her body every day.
Sometimes she suffered quietly, and sometimes she screamed because of her wounds. When she didn’t perform, Tyke did nothing. Yes, nothing at all. She just stood tied up with a huge chain burrowed in her legs. She was laying in her feces and dirt. She ate the same meal every day. She knew only that one taste. And it will be the same until the rest of her life.
She performed for the “Hawthorne” circus, which had a long history of animal abuse.
The first time she “snapped” was in April 1993. In July, on the same year she tried to escape during the performance. Both times unsuccessfully. Beating continued every day, and she didn’t perform as often as before. Her life was doomed to boredom and metal stick.
In the summer of 1994, Tyke was getting ready for a new show. That time she was already performing in circus for 20 long years. Tired of beating and mental harassment, her rage, desperation, sadness and desire for freedom triggered something in Tyke on August 20th, during her performance in Honolulu.
At one point she changed her well-trained show. Circus staff attempted to calm her with the beatings, but no beating could stop the anger that accumulated for the 20 years.
First she attacked her coach, Alan Campbell. She pushed him on ground and stomped on him, just like he did all these years with her spirit.
Tyke didn’t look where she is running or who is she gonna step on, she just followed her goal, and that was the final escape. Tyke finally broke the gates of the circus and went into the street. The streets were very crowded, but she didn’t mind anything. Tyke was disoriented trampling everything and everyone in her way. People were screaming while she crushed the car windows. Tyke passed a few blocks, and then Police fired. As the police later reported, during the shooting which lasted 25 minutes, 87 bullets were fired in this poor elephant.
She ran for a while, but fell on her knees. She shook her head left to the right, and started to run again. She was getting up and falling down while she could. Her eyes were fully open and terrified. In the end she just fell down and never got up again.
That was her last show.
Poor soul. The only positive thing from this all is that she is in a better place now, where there are no monstrous people and the poor soul doesn’t suffer anymore.
We will always remember you!