Dumbo Gets It Right: Behind the Curtain at the Animal Circus

"I like to have fun, but circuses, zoos and marine parks are no fun for animals. Elephants used in circuses are forced to travel all over the country and are chained up for hours. In the wild, they would walk for miles every day. Have you ever seen elephants stand on their head in the wild? No? That’s because they don’t," a PETA Kids young video presenter states.

“Animals in zoos live in enclosures that are hundreds of times smaller than where they would live in the wild,” another youth says. “I wouldn’t want to live in a cage with a bunch of people staring at me all day. Animals don’t like it either. How can kids learn about wild animals by looking at them locked up in cages? That’s not natural at all. It makes the animals feel really stressed. They can even get so stressed out that they go crazy.”

A third child informs us that, “Marine parks keep dolphins and whales in small tanks. That’s like living in a bath- all they can do is swim in circles. In the wild, they can swim for kilometers with their families every day. They should live in big groups, and they get lonely by themselves.”

“The people who run the zoos, circuses and marine parks don’t really care about the animals. They just use them to make money. That’s why, if you love animals, you should never go to a zoo, marine park or animal circus,” and with that statement, the video ends. It is a simple but potent message, one which is echoed in numerous graphic images spread via social media and in the recent and popular Disney offering: Dumbo, which has a very clear ‘anti-animal circus’ message throughout.

On May 4, the Yuri Nikulin Circus will visit Georgia from Russia. They use monkeys, lions, tigers and dogs in their circus shows, but we have seen a lot of documentary evidence that demonstrates how circus animals are kept in unsuitable and often unbearable conditions. The trainers get them to do tricks by using pain- hitting them with sticks or giving them electric shocks to incite fear. Sometimes, they starve the animals prior to performances so they will ‘work’ for food. They live and travel in small, often unsanitary, cages. Sometimes, they lack medical attention for illnesses or injuries.

The conditions in the circus and the way the animals are treated can make them stressed or depressed. Sometimes, they become aggressive or self-harm.

Using animals in circuses has no educational or conservation function. It is only for entertainment and to make money for the circus company. When we buy a ticket to watch a circus show in which animals are being used, we are helping to support this cruelty!

Animal circuses are thankfully losing popularity and there are many circus companies which give exhilarating shows without the use of animals, among them Cirque du Soleil, Circus Vargas, Circus Oz, and Cirque Productions.

Colombia, Croatia, Costa Rica, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Scotland, Singapore, Israel, Finland, France, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, India, and Peru are countries which have banned animal circuses.

Georgia needs to stop animal cruelty. No animals should be used in circus performances and such shows should be banned here as they have been elsewhere. Instead, we should invite foreign circus companies who do not use animals in their shows. And because Georgia has its own talented acrobats, illusionists, jugglers, clowns and dancers, we could launch a Georgian circus, making new jobs for people in a humane circus without animals.

A group of concerned citizens is organizing a peaceful and informative protest event starting at 5pm outside the circus building in Heroes’ Square on May 4. The circus administration has so far refused to respond to their invitation for open dialogue and has blocked or ignored any social media attempts to contact them regarding the issue of the animal circus. The activists have appeared on television against a background of graphic images showing what circus animals go through, a petition has begun, and a photo campaign launched to garner interest. The biggest goal is to open peoples’ eyes to the unnecessary cruelty suffered by circus animals, and to encourage citizens to choose a civilized and responsible path by boycotting the Russian animal circus and pushing instead for other forms of entertainment to be brought to Georgia, ones in which no animals are forced to take part.

Show your support. For more information, visit the Circus Without Animals event page.


By Katie Ruth Davies

Photo: Scene from the new Disney anti-animal circus ‘Dumbo’ movie. Source: arstechnica.com

18 April 2019 16:57
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