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The Circus


Tomas

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Washington Post:

"ELLENTON, Fla. - After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May."
 
Sad!! I can remember being taken to the circus when I was just a kid, so very long ago. The elephants and other animals, the clowns, the acrobats, the bearded lady and other sideshow attractions.
 
 
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I have never liked circuses with performing animals and I can only see it closing as a good thing. I'm sorry that it's a fond memory from your past disappearing, but I'm happy for the animals that will hopefully be found new homes. That no more wild creatures will be stolen from their natural environment and forced to live in cages, performing for the entertainment of humans, must be right.

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I too view this as a good thing. Circus animals live through some of the worst treatment, abuse, and accommodation of any animals on the planet. All circuses with animals and "roadside zoos" should be avoided at all costs.

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Honestly, all wild animals are better off in the wild, even if threatened with extinction. Only when numbers get so critical sending them to breeding reserves to keep the species alive would there be a need for captivity. 

 

Although, I'm unsure as to how Ringling dealt with their animals, the small time circuses don't have the money to provide the best living quarters, space, privacy, quiet, and such any animal would need, let alone one that has generational ties to wild animals. Breeding for exploitation only lasts when that animal is still productive - either in the shows or as breeding animals. When they become too old or too difficult to train, they're usually privately sold and the market just isn't appealing for these animals at all.

 

But, in mass animal rescue operations don't typically go the smoothest and desperation by this circus may lead to some animals getting less than appealing homes as it is - anyone can be a "sanctuary.." 

 

So, if Ringling does do well by their animals, the thought of them living out their lives in nice enclosures, free of breeding, free of performing, etc then it is a good thing for them.

 

For the circus as a whole, it is a loss since it has been around for ages on a cultural level and there is always a sadness for something so cultural and historical to come to an end, regardless of the history and questionable and horrendous practices by the industry as a whole that may or may not include them directly.

 

Keep in mind though, Zoos and Sanctuaries do not help extinction. Zoological parks are for profit parks. When they breed animals it is, for the most part, for profit and publicity/advertising. These animals are mostly privately sold and not all the time to reputable zoos, but to private ownership, etc. So in a way they look better when you do an eye-test, but they may not be.

 

Sanctuaries should not be in the practice of breeding at all. They are supposed to act as a rescue and safe haven for exploited and unwanted animals that has a poor market for them, limited space/resources, and animals that cannot make it in their natural habitats.

 

But anywho, sorry to get off-topic a bit. :)

Edited by Krista
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Keep in mind though, Zoos and Sanctuaries do not help extinction. Zoological parks are for profit parks. When they breed animals it is, for the most part, for profit and publicity/advertising. These animals are mostly privately sold and not all the time to reputable zoos, but to private ownership, etc. So in a way they look better when you do an eye-test, but they may not be.

 

The San Diego Zoo is a non-profit, the LA Zoo and SF Zoo are non-profit by virtue of being municipally owned.

 

The SD Zoo is one of the leading resources for fighting off extinction and reversing extinction. They don't do so for profit, but because they think it is the right thing.

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In the 21st Century we do not need animals performing in circuses, Sea World, bull fighting, cock fighting, or any other cultural heritage that belongs in the dark ages. I leave zoos alone and trust that they might have a role to play, but I'll only accept horse racing and greyhound racing if they look after the animals when they get too old. Neither can I accept Rodeos, another cultural heritage we could do without. Being civilised surely means respecting all of God's creatures!

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