Topless Protest Draws Gawkers

By Frank Heinz and Stacy Morrow
|  Tuesday, Jun 2, 2009  |  Updated 5:57 PM CDT
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PETA member Shari Pearson, with her naked body painted like a tiger, staged a protest of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sundance Square.

KXAS

PETA member Shari Pearson, with her naked body painted like a tiger, staged a protest of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sundance Square.

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A PETA member stripped down to skimpy panties and full body paint Tuesday to protest the treatment of caged circus animals. 

PETA said the animals are kept in cages not much bigger than their bodies. In an effort to draw attention to the matter, PETA member Shari Pearson painted her body like a tiger and sat in a cage at the corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Fort Worth.

Pearson's protest comes before the August arrival of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Fort Worth.

"I'll gladly bare my skin if it will help expose Ringling's abusive treatment of animals," said Pearson. "The best way to stop this abuse is for people to boycott Ringling and other circuses that use animals."

PETA has staged similar protests in other cities, and they have always drawn a steady stream of onlookers.  In April, Los Angeles resident Meggan Anderson painted her body like a snake for a protest in San Diego.

The circus runs from Aug. 12-16 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Follow us on Twitter @frankheinziv, @NBC_DFW, @dfwaroundtown.

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