6 children, 1 adult injured in Shrine Circus mishap

By Amanda Klein | September 16, 2018

A Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesman said six children and one adult were injured Sunday after a camel became “spooked and bucked” during the intermission, while giving rides to children.

The incident occurred around 3:28 p.m. Sunday at PPG Paints Arena during a performance of the Shrine Circus. Children are allowed to ride tethered animals led by qualified handlers during the intermission. The children and one adult were riding a camel when it got “spooked” and for an 11 second period started to “buck,” the spokesman said in a written statement.

Handlers quickly gained control of the camel within “11 seconds” and it was checked and cleared by a veterinarian. The camel was not injured and no other animals were involved in the incident. It is unknown what caused the animal to become startled.

EMS, which was already on scene provided medical treatment to the injured. Police and Public Safety officials also responded.

Five children were transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital with minor injuries, and one child was taken to UPMC Mercy with a fractured arm, which was the most serious injury. One adult was also transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

The Humane Action Pittsburgh, an animal welfare organization said on its Facebook page, “This is yet another reason why animal circuses should be banned.”

Pittsburgh Public Safety and Shrine Circus officials are continuing to investigate the incident.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

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