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Circus Animal Cruelty

Updated on December 12, 2011

Before You Make Plans To Go...

Circuses have quite a history of entertaining the public with acrobats, trapezes, clowns, and...animals that perform stunts which amaze the crowd watching behind the ring.

Some people are delighted at the thought of taking their young children to the circus when it comes to town. They believe it will be a positive, stimulating, and even educational experience for them.

Many people are ignorant of how circus animals are trained to do these crazy, unnatural tricks like bears riding bicycles, elephants standing on their head, and tigers jumping through rings of fire. Perhaps you have wondered how in the world trainers get circus animals to do these things. Perhaps you have even assumed that all circus animals are taken very good care of, and they are trained with rewards and positive reinforcement. And that sharp bullhook the trainer is holding in the ring is only used as a guide, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

I'm going to clear up the bologna that animal circuses have been feeding the public for years, so please read on for the truth, no matter how disturbing it is.

This hub will tell you what goes on behind the guarded wall that surrounds the area where animals are trained for the circus.

Animals are captured from their natural habitat in the wild. With all four legs bound with ropes, baby elephants are dragged away from their mother.

They now have no choice but to devote their lives to the abuse of an animal trainer. Never again will they feel comfort.

Once the imprisoned animal is carted unwillingly to its destination on the training grounds, it's time to "break their spirit," which basically means they are taught to fear and obey animal trainers. They are beaten with bullhooks, electric prods, and sometimes even a blowtorch. Baby elephants are slammed to the ground and beaten, screaming in pain. They are still bound with ropes, and all they can do is suffer.

Fear is The Key to Training a Circus Animal, Not Encouragement and Rewards

Go on and ask any animal trainer at a Ringling Brothers circus how they get their animals to perform such tricks, and they will smile and lie, saying they reward their animals for performing well, and that the animals are indeed making natural postures with their body; they are just encouraged and trained how and when to do it. Very big lie!

Elephants are chained and shackled for twenty-four hours. This is part of the process of "breaking the spirit." Elephants are social animals who wander in herds. Do they get to do this at the circus? Never; they are isolated. Because of this extreme discomfort of not being able to be an elephant and roam free like they should, they rock back and forth in frustration. The bottoms of a bear's two front feet are burned, which forces them to stand on their hind legs. Tigers are terrified of fire, but they are even more terrified of the beating they will get if they don't comply with their trainer's orders to jump through a flaming ring of fire. If an animal doesn't perform well, they are beaten badly with bullhooks until they are bloody and screaming.

What Can You Do?

If the circus comes to your town, and you discover that they are not animal-friendly, you can alert your local newscast about what's going on with this unacceptable treatment of wildlife. You can also organize a protest group, or get a petition going around to speak out against this. 

See For Yourself


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