Treatment of circus animals is shameful

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To the editor:

The news that the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus was coming to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this April filled me with sorrow.


I went online to watch trailers of some of the circus animal acts, mainly the ones with Asian elephants and wild tigers.  These were not graphic videos of animals being abused – beaten, prodded or hooked – but just the acts themselves showing them at their best – acts the circus public relations team thought were best to entice the public to go to the circus to see for themselves.

What I saw was not enticing, fabulous, or at all entertaining.  What I saw were beautiful, rare, wild animals forced to perform in ways that were totally alien to them.  What I saw was the exploitation, degradation, and suffering these animals had to endure. What I felt was shame.

It’s easy to do a little research on the reality of circus animal life. These animals are deprived of their natural habitats and forced to live in cramped quarters while constantly traveling.  They are confined to boxcars, trailers, or trucks for days at a time in extremely hot and cold weather, often without access to basic necessities such as food and water.

Animal training often involves extreme methods using various degrees of punishment and deprivation. The animals are traumatized into obeying their human trainer’s commands.  Trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, and bull hooks to force animals into performing these unnatural and physically uncomfortable acts.  In elephant training, bull hooks are often driven into the tender areas of an elephant’s body to make it cooperate.

Is this the basis of entertainment?  Have we been reduced to finding animal suffering enjoyable?

Please say no to animal circus acts.  Show you care by not supporting Ringling Brothers circus.

Cynthia Grzywinski

South Jersey Animal Advocates


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