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It’s that time again. Cotton candy fingers glued together, big clowns in little cars, and animals turning tricks. The Barnum & Bailey/Ringling Bros. circus is currently touring throughout the country, and they plan to hit up familiar spots like Nampa, Idaho and the EnergySolutions Center in Salt Lake City.
From what I hear, the circus really isn’t the place to be these days. According to an article in the Oakland Tribune, the elephants endure a significant amount of abuse to do the crowd-pleasing handstands and dances they do.
What? You mean elephants don’t naturally do handstands?? Weird.
However, the Center for Elephant Conservation, the organization that houses the elephants for Ringling Brothers, lists the following as the most important criteria:
“First and foremost, of course, was the comfort and well-being of the Asian elephants: There needed to be plenty of food, water, shade, places to sleep, and areas where the animals could be groomed regularly. The safety of all animals and humans working 24 hours a day at the Ringling Bros. Center was paramount” (elephantcenter.com).
As I found out after reading, the CEC is owned and operated by the one and only Ringling Brothers! Huh.
There have been plenty of protests and I hope that there will be plenty more (but that’s just me.)
Click here to see a video of the “alleged” abuse. And just to clarify, I am not a huge fan of PETA, but they have the videos…
(If you have any knowledge or opinions you would like to add– either in support of the circus or against– feel free to comment.)