The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returned to Los Angeles this week beginning with a pre-dawn parade of Asian elephants from Union Station on Tuesday, July 13, 2020 to the Staples Center. to open the Circus on Wednesday, July 14, 2010.
Shows for the Circus ran Wednesday, July 14 to through Sunday, July 18, 2010.
Animal rights activists, members of In Defense of Animals, Animal Acres, Last Chance for Animals, Peta, and several Entertainment Industry personalities including Actress Olivia Munn, Actress Shira Scott, Recording Artist Gene Blalock of The Faded, Recording Artist Fawn, Fashion Photographer Melissa Schwartz and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, came out in droves (over 300 strong) to protest the Infamous Circus and their treatment of animals. It was estimated to be the largest protest against the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to date.
Demonstrators were peaceful, yet strong in their position as they marched, chanted, raised their voices, handed out educational information and stood outside the Staples Center in front of ticket holders in line. Their protests created such a stir, that 4 families decided to ask for ticket refunds once they realized why protesters were so upset. One of the families demanding for their money back said that their children saw all the protesters and asked “Why do they have pictures of the baby elephants tied up? We don’t want to see the baby elephants if they do that.” Another family, smiling after deciding to turn in their tickets stated “It feels good.”
Protesters were calling for a boycott of the Circus based on the disturbing photos that had been turned over to PETA. Several such photos were held by protesters for the crowd to see. PETA is now using these photos to file a complaint with the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) against Ringling Bros. to have their exhibitor license revoked.
You may ask youself, why boycott the Circus? Recording Artist Fawn stated: “Ringling Brothers has a horrifying track record for abusing their elephant performers. It is my belief that if the children of this world knew what it takes for the animals to ‘do tricks’ and ‘perform’ for the audience, they wouldn’t WANT to come to the Circus!” Actress Olivia Munn told reporters “This is the largest Ringling Bros. Boycott ever, so it’s very exciting. Now that you know what they’re doing, you just can’t sit there and laugh and cheer. Go do something else with your money. Boycott the Circus and also realize it’s not 1920.”
Ringling trainers routinely jab, prod, hook, and strike elephants with a bull hook (a steel-tipped device that looks similar to a fireplace poker). They use it to control large animals and force them to perform unnatural acts. Typically, these abuses occur out of public view. Protesters had such bull hooks on hand to demonstrate how sharp, heavy, ominous and destructive these instruments are. Evidence including court documents, undercover videos, and photos of training sessions with baby elephants shows that Ringling routinely chains elephants in train box cars for more than 26 hours at a time, for as long as 60-100 hours without a break while traveling across the country for weeks at a time and they physically abuse elephants with electric shock devices and bull hooks, including one elephant who was “dripping blood all over the arena floor from being hooked.” There is also evidence that they train baby elephants through isolation from other elephants, prolonged restraint by tying their legs and hitting them with bull hooks. Linda Hogan, ex-wife of Hulk Hogan explained “This is something from back in the 1800’s. A lot of people are uneducated, it’s time to educate people.”
Humane Educator Ciddy Fonteboa offered another alternative to the Circus for animal lovers — the non-profit safe haven for animals, Animal Acres. Ciddy explained, “I feel that any business that supports animal suffering to profit from the public is also supporting violence and at Animal Acres, we support true freedom and peace for the animals that are rescued from cruelty cases. We give them the opportunity to be happy with out having to perform and entertain people.” She continued to explain “At Animal Acres children and people get to see that there is no difference from these rescued farm animals than the family dog. They have the same needs that all living beings on this earth do. ” Indeed they do. To find out more go to www.animalacres.org and http://www.peta.org
The protest was held at the same times from July 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm until Sunday, July 18, 2010. Ringling Bros representatives was not available for comment.