So far, more than 60,000 people have signed PACMA's petition — a heartening indication that the horrific incident could effect real change across the country.
But such deadly consequences for circus animals, routinely shipped from place to place, aren't so uncommon. Last September, a tiger belonging to a former Ringling Bros. circus trainer was shot and killed by police after escaping a transport vehicle.
“This incident sadly illustrates just some of the immense risks and suffering caused by keeping exotic wild animals in captivity for entertainment," Elizabeth Hogan, U.S. wildlife campaign manager for World Animal Protection, told The Dodo at the time. "The use of wild animals for entertainment causes immense animal suffering at every stage."
And that suffering often takes place behind the scenes.
Ringling Bros., once the United States' largest circus, has since shut down due to public pressure, but animals are still being forced to perform elsewhere — meaning incidents like the one this week in Spain are bound to be repeated.