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PETA to use ‘nude zebra’ in Charlotte circus protest; protesters will protest that

PETA protests UniverSoul Circus in Charlotte

A PETA "zebra"—wearing little more than bodypaint—was in downtown Charlotte on Tuesday, the day of UniverSoul Circus' opening-night performance.
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A PETA "zebra"—wearing little more than bodypaint—was in downtown Charlotte on Tuesday, the day of UniverSoul Circus' opening-night performance.

When UniverSoul Circus opens Tuesday night in Charlotte, don’t count on PETA to be in attendance.

Instead, the animal rights group is staging a protest of the circus Tuesday afternoon in opposition to the use of live animals during its shows. The group will gather at the North College and E. Fifth streets at noon with a “nude zebra” – likely a naked individual in zebra bodypaint.

“UniverSoul Circus denies zebras, elephants and other animals everything that’s natural and important to them – just for a few fleeting minutes of human amusement,” Rachel Mathews, PETA Foundation associate director of captive animal law enforcement, said in a statement.

Mathews and PETA are calling on families to boycott the circus and other circuses that use live animals in their shows.

But PETA’s protest won’t be the only one going on. A counterprotest against PETA’s protest is planned, according to a Facebook post by Carolina Outdoors. The group, which called PETA’s protest “ridiculous” wants people to protest the organization’s use of naked women.

As for the UniverSoul Circus, the event opens Tuesday and will run through March 19 at the Old Eastland Mall.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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