Although Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circuses officially closed their tents last year after ending their elephant shows, circuses that exploit animals are still quite prevalent. For example, Garden Bros Circus is a traveling circus that performs in the U.S. and Canada that not only forces animals like elephants to wear costumes and perform unnatural tricks for roaring crowds, but they also allow paying visitors to pile on to the animals’ backs for rides!
In the above video, shared by Facebook user Lucy Lethr, we see the pure mental and emotional anguish these highly intelligent and social animals endure at the hands of Garden Bros Circus. The elephant in the video is seen standing motionless with scars and marks on her skin, sucking on her trunk in an attempt to comfort herself. The look in her eyes is pure sadness and despair, but circus workers walk by as if they do not even see the literal elephant in the room.
Not only is it inhumane to keep animals as circus acts, but doing so also poses a risk to the public, as wild animals can never be domesticated within their lifetime and several have tried to escape their prisons, which typically results in the animals being killed. As the public has become more aware of the dangers involved in keeping wild animals like elephants in captivity, laws have begun to change for the better. Several U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Santa Fe, and Portland, Maine have banned the use of wild animals for live entertainment acts, but circuses are still traveling throughout the rest of the U.S. (and all around the world).
The simplest way to combat the cruelty of circuses is to never purchase tickets from them and by educating your community about the serious issues at hand. Many people are still quite oblivious to the suffering circus animals endure, so make sure you share this eye-opening video with them!