PETA is welcoming a decision by Moscow International Circus that it will use only “willing human performers and no animals” in its upcoming shows at Honolulu’s Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

The shows are set for early October.

The Honolulu-based circus organizer’s decision comes just before the 20th anniversary of the death of the elephant Tyke, shot down by police “after running amok, killing a trainer and injuring 13 more people” before a circus performance at the Blaisdell in 1994.

“As the world saw 20 years ago when Tyke lashed out and died bellowing on the street, forcing frustrated animals to perform in circuses can have deadly consequences,” PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders said in a press release. “PETA supporters and kind people around the world will be relieved to hear that the Moscow International Circus is putting safety and kindness first and going animal-free in Hawaii.”

PETA — its motto reads, in part, “Animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — sent letters to the circus and to the Blaisdell Center stating that “animals suffer greatly when they’re caged and chained, shipped around the world, separated from their loved ones and all that is natural and important to them, and beaten into performing circus tricks.”

PETA added, “Acts that use big cats — as the Moscow International Circus had reportedly planned to do — also pose a risk to the public, as on average, captive big cats in the U.S. kill one person every year and injure 10 more.”

PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Elephant Nature Park

At the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, 2009.

Flickr: Christian Haugen