jueves, 26 de agosto de 2010

The Ringling Brothers Funundrum= Saddest show on Earth

As you may have gathered, I am crazy about circus and sideshow acts, therefore when I heard The Ringling Brothers Funundrum touring show was coming to town (or at least just outside the city limits), I rushed to purchase some tickets.

Thankfully I did a little research first and what I found is not looking good for the Funundrum. This show will no longer tour through my city because we are on the list of cities who have banned circuses featuring animal acts.

They have an extensive elephant act during which the animals sit upright, stand on their hind legs, and even stand on their heads. For me, this in and of itself is upsetting enough; I have no interest in seeing one of the most majestic, dignified and intelligent of wild animals forced to perform in captivity for human enjoyment. They also use tigers and zebras in the show.

I remember going to a circus as a child once, and enjoying the whole thing immensely...until the elephants came on. I was close enough to get a good view, and remember seeing so many whip marks on the skin of the elephant. In reality- the elephant skin is tough like a horse and they probably didn't feel any of those marks more than a tap- but looking into it's eye, it just looked beaten down and confused at why it was being asked to perform these illogical tasks.

After reading up on this issues from a number of sources, I've found that the Ringing Brothers are being investigated and on trial for animal abuse, specifically of their elephants.

The tools and methods used during trainings are coming into question, as well as the conditions in the boxcars, ventilation feeding and lack of adequate veterinarian attention are all on the table.

Do yourself a favour and don't youtube Ringling Brother's elephant training methods, lets just say my dreams about the state of this particular modern circus have been crushed forever.

A number of former Ringling employees have spoken out about these practices, including Frank Hagan, a Ringling Handler, who has signed an affidavit claiming that the death of his lion Clyde was a result of negligence, alleging that his repeated requests to stop the boxcar to check on Clyde during 109 degree heat were ignored because the circus was behind schedule.

A number of welfare groups including the Animal Welfare Institution are in a legal battle with the Ringling Bros and Barnum &Bailey.

This website has a nice detailing of all the U.S.D.A inspection reports for a whole list of circuses, for your reference.

My hope is that eventually the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus will catch on to the declining popularity of their animal acts and will omit them for good, so that I can go enjoy the show with a clean conscience. Although it's true this traveling show has a very long history including animals acts, times change and people must change too!

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