The circus is a magical place filled with light and colour, a world of fantasy full of humour, fun and happiness. However not all of us enjoy the circus most especially when there are animals involved.
The general public is sadly unaware of the darkness hidden behind this illusion of fantasy. Come in and see what is concealed in the circus’ back room.
Many circuses are faithful customers of animal trafficking mafias, dedicated to capturing animals when they are requested by the circuses. This is the dark origin of the many animals found in zoos. Some of these animals are also bought from people who dedicate their life to breed wild animals in captivity and selling them like merchandise.
Circus animals live permanently confined to small cells that hardly allow any movement. They eat and defecate inside these prisons and they also suffer long commutes every time the circus moves to a new location.
Whether it is on route or at their final destination, the animals are always exposed to harsh weather conditions. In some cases, animals are exposed to conditions totally opposite to their natural habitat. For example, animals such as lions and tigers are originally from warm climates however in the circus they must face cold or even freezing temperatures to which their physiology is not adapted.
As with all animals living in captivity, their horrendous living conditions have devastating consequences on the mental health of the “prisoners”. Their inability to express their natural behaviour generates extreme physical and psychological suffering that leads to the development of behavioural disorders such as stereotyped movements, swaying from side to side, self-mutilations and other forms of self-harm.
Onstage the animals are forced to perform grotesque, unnatural poses, often contrary to their natural instinct and painful to their anatomical configuration. Behind the perfect execution of such abnormalposes, are endless training sessions based on fear, oppression and systematic abuse.
The animals are forced to repeat the pose again and again; if they make a mistake they are corrected by the use of physical punishment. Some of this physical abuse is done with propane torches, whips with steel ball tips, muzzles, electric shocks, nail/thorn mallets, hot steel crowbars and food deprivation.
Consequently the animals perform tricks based on fear of violence and punishment at the hands of their exploiters.
When circus animals get old and their stage performance declines, their future is rather grim. They will be kept in cages until their death, slaughtered to sell their “exotic” meat, sold to hunters to use as easy targets or to laboratories for experimentation.
With a broken spirit and all hope for freedom extinguished, circus animals are enslaved to a life full of sorrow, desolation and never ending torture. Every afternoon when they perform their act the unsuspecting spectators are funding the chains of captivity which prolong their suffering.
Eye opening links:
The reality of the circus:
Imprisonment of animals in circuses (in Spanish):