Videos on social media caught the incident at the Shrine Circus on Sept. 16, showing one woman caught in the harness as the animal bucks and runs.
The children were bucked from camel’s back when something spooked it, according to local media.
One witness told KDKA that a child threw a shovel near the camel’s feet, “which startled” the animal.
“They were giving camel rides and camels were walking around calmly. And then a kid threw a shovel at the camel’s feet, which startled the camel and it started to buck,” Ruthie Kester said.
“They went crazy and they just started running everywhere and [Marlo’s daughter] was holding onto me and she was super scared and she was crying,” Marlo Shipeck told KDKA.
The circus says that their handlers brought the camel under control within just 11 seconds, according to KDKA.
The camel was not harmed.
Camel Ride During Intermission
The circus has not offered any confirmation of what caused the incident.
The incident happened during the intermission when audience members are invited to ride the show’s camels and ponies.
According to WPXI the six injured children were taken to hospitals. Five of them had only minor injuries, one had a broken arm.
The adult suffered only minor injuries.
“Sixty-nine years without incident and, unfortunately, this is the first one,” said Paul Leavy, chairman of the Shrine Circus, according to WPXI. “We’re ready to handle things like this. We’re insured. We’ll get back together and see what we’ll do for next year.”
In a Facebook video, an announcer can be heard saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, remain calm please. Please remain calm. No unnecessary movement. Slowly leave the arena floor if you feel safer. We are looking for a medic, an EMT.”
Local animal rights campaigners said the incident supported their ongoing calls to shut down the Shrine Circus, currently at the PPG Paints Arena.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued the following statement on the incident: “Had the Shriners abided by the law and left animals out of their show, instead of taking the city to court, this camel and these children would have been spared this terror and possible injury.”
Shrine circus has in the past denied accusations of animal cruelty.
Video credit: Ronald Smith via Storyful
From The Epoch Times