Thursday, December 2

The Circus

A 2008 study by NGO Public Watch found evidence that circus animals are "mistreated". This is not news, really, as animal rights organisations have been asking people to steer clear of the circus for decades. 

Photograph from the Sunday Times
The undercover investigation by Public Watch found elephants "chained by their legs for 19 hours a day; left outside in extreme heat with no shelter; given water only twice a day; and made to urinate on command." Elephants should not have to endure this unnatural lifestyle. 

Photograph from the circus's own website. I wonder what you have to do to an elephant to make him dance?
While acrobats, trapeze artists and clowns thrive on the thrill of performing, and the praise from the crowds, wild animals don't want to perform, or be anywhere near huge crowds! Studies of circuses around the world confirm this. I would love to attend a circus with only human performers - people who are skilled artists demonstrating their own agility - instead of one where animals are made to do tricks! 

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has photographs of "a chimpanzee in an 'extremely emaciated state', and another with broken teeth."
I am concerned about the basic logistics of a circus that performs six days a week, and travels on the seventh. As anyone who drives past the circus can see, the elephants are chained to a trailer when they're not performing. They spend the seventh day driving in a hot trailer to the next venue. This doesn't seem to leave any time to, you know, just be elephants. 

In this very moving video, renowned wildlife rehabilitation expert Karen Trendler talks about the methods that are typically used to make elephants do tricks. 
Brian Boswell and his lions. Photograph from
If you would like information on the Johannesburg anti-circus demo, please email me


  1. Hey sweety...whens the demo, i'm in!....I agree fully and i will quite happily stand next to you passionetly fighting for whats right!

    Vive le Anti-Circus :)

  2. Thanks Kelly! I'm so sorry, I thought I sent you the Action Alert on Monday! :-S I shall email you now! :-)

    If anyone else wants information on the demo, please comment with your email address, so I can send you the information! :-)