11 months a year circus animals travel long distances in box cars with no climate control; eating, sleeping, and defecating in the same cage. In 1782 the first circus opened in Paris with the popular Barnum and Bailey circus opening in 1919. The Barnum and Bailey circus historically has had over 1,000 circuses in the U.
S. There are approximately 230 elephants used in circuses across the U.S. The animal cruelty, unnatural habitat, and animal attacks are evidence that circuses use of animals should be outlawed. Trainers in circuses commonly use fear and cruelty as methods to train an animal to perform. Whips, bullhooks, muzzles, electric prods, and whips are training tools used to break a wild animals spirit. Babies are prematurely seperated from their mothers causing panic and distress to both the mother and baby. Germanic entertainment with fire fire and loud noises, things that animals are naturally afraid of, are imposed on the animals.
This cruelty is unethical and should not be used for our entertainment purposes. Being in an unnatural habitat can effect a wild animal’s psychological state, health, and well being. The nature of a circus, traveling entertainment, requires animals to have compact living areas and transportation.
Virtually 96% of a circus animal’s life is spent chained up in a cage. Animals traveling in boxcars can have travel times up to 100 hours. This can lead animals to suffer from psychological problems like swaying back and forth, pacing, self mutilation, and head bobbing.
It can be argued that releasing domesticated circus animals into the wild would also be harmful to the animal. Fortunately there are about 20 sanctuaries for tigers alone that could help transition a circus animal somewhat back into the wild. The contrast between a wild habitat and a circus life for an animal is unhealthy for the health and well being of the animal. Circus animals being abused in an unnatural habitat can lead to attempts of escape.
Fighting back usually leads to the animal getting shot and killed. Since 1990 there have been more than 125 documented attacks from large cats in the U.S. 13 of which were fatal to the handlers. Elephants since 2000 have had more than 35 incidents which include bolting from circuses, crashing from buildings, killing and injuring trainers, and attacking people in public.