When did you last go to the circus and see wild animals?

Do you still go to the circus? If, yes, do they have wild animals? Do you question whether you should go to the circus or boycott them?

Circus tigers
Circus lions and tigers
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

If you like animals and if the circuses that you go to have performing wild animals you should make a personal commitment to boycott circuses from now on because it is just not right in the 21st century for wild animals, such as tigers, lions and elephants, to be captive in this way and be compelled to perform to entertain people.

Often the animals are trained to do tricks which cannot be natural to them. How are they trained? I am sure that many are trained in a cruel manner and in any case the level of unnatural captivity is enough to decide to never see a circus with animals again.

There is talk in some countries of banning circus animals. In the UK on 1st March 2012, the government announced that circuses were to be banned from using performing wild animals. Good intentions. I have not heard about an actual ban. They drag their feet on this as usual. When it comes to animals they are well down the list of priorities.

Circus tiger's first touch of grass
Circus tiger’s first touch of grass

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor said:

“There is no place in today’s society for wild animals being used for our entertainment in travelling circuses. Wild animals deserve our respect.”

The director of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, Liz Tyson says:

“Tigers, lions, elephants and camels simply cannot live a good life when their home is the back of a lorry and their sole purpose in life is to perform degrading tricks to circus audiences.”

If you agree that there is no place for wild animals in circuses why not take the Big Cat Rescue pledge? Over 11,000 have already.


4 thoughts on “When did you last go to the circus and see wild animals?”

  1. It was 1980 when I and my oldest daughter who was 6 at the time went to Ringling,it was our first and last time we went,even then I knew the animals were unhappy and it was in 1999 I started becoming an advocate speaking out against the circus,any form of animal entertainment has no place in this world today and I look forward to the day Ringling, Cole Brothers and many other circuses are banned from using animals.

  2. I was born in Baraboo, WI, home of Circus World Museum. It is hard for me to be completely anti-circus. Circuses were a popular form of entertainment in centuries past and some good things came out of them: great music and artwork being of interest to me.

    Circus World has a world renowned collection of beautiful circus wagons. They are intricately decorated and painstakingly restored. The restoration projects undertaken by the museum provide jobs for local wood workers and artists.

    I also have friends who played in the circus band at the museum. Circus music is fun! We played some of it in the local campus/community band. Even when playing other non-circus pieces if the director wanted a quick tempo he would say, “Circus tempo!” and we all knew what he meant.

    My friends played in the circus parade which used to come to Milwaukee every summer. They used to ride on top of the huge wagon behind the forty horse hitch and I have to say they were the best band in the parade. We would sit on the bridge by the art museum, the part that goes uphill. We could feel the bridge rumbling beneath our feet as the horses got a running start to pull those heavy old wagons up the hill.

    Some people have objected to the use of horses in the parade pulling wagons, but I didn’t. Horses have been bred for years to do this type of work. So long as they have enough horses to pull the wagon, the horses are not being mistreated by being hitched up to the wagon. The only problem is idiots along the parade route not respecting the horses and doing stupid things to try to startle the horses, sometimes successfully. With the way the world is today (filled with cruel unthinking people) it is probably for the best, for the safety of horses and bystanders, that the parade is no longer held.

    I do not understand why Circus World has both elephants and tigers even today, as far as I know. There is absolutely no reason for a circus to feature wild animals anymore. That practice belongs to a different time. We have moved beyond those days and there is simply no need to cause this suffering. If people want to see wild animals they can go online and watch videos of the animals in their natural habitats. There is nothing exotic or exciting about wild animals for modern audiences. Many are offended as understanding is growing of the pain these animals suffer. Especially elephants.

    Modern circuses can focus on the music, the art work and the beautiful and exciting performances by humans. All the performers should perform with nets and any and all safety features that are necessary to minimize accidents. The entertainment does not need to be “death defying” to create a good show. Live shows with live musicians are actually kind of a novelty for modern audiences used to just going to the movies.

    So there is a place for a circus, but not in the same form it was in the 1890’s. We can preserve the best of that time and ditch everything else. I don’t know why this has not happened already.

    • Thank you Ruth for such an excellent comment. I expect that sort of comment from you. Very wise and sensible. No one can argue against the points that you make. I hope you and yours are well and I wish you a Happy Christmas.


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