AR-News: (NZ) Circus performances

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Sun Nov 2 20:52:11 EST 2003

Monday, 3 November 2003, 10:48 am
Press Release: SAFE 

Circus performances during Guy Fawke's endanger lives 
The national animal advocacy organisation SAFE has taken its concerns to the 
police and served notices to the Waiuku township community in an effort to 
prevent a circus with exotic animals from performing during Guy Fawke's. 
The Three Ring American Circus (formally Whirling Brothers Circus) plans to 
stage shows on Tuesday and Wednesday evening (4-5 November) involving a 
fully-grown female African elephant, lions and monkeys. SAFE believes this is 
extremely dangerous and irresponsible, posing serious risk to the animals and any 
persons in the area. 
"Guy Fawke's is an incredibly stressful time for animals particularly with 
the uncontrolled use of fireworks. The RNZSPCA has called for people to keep 
domestic animals prone to becoming scared by the loud bangs and flashes safely 
indoors. Meanwhile, a circus intends to lead a 6-tonne elephant and other exotic 
animals into a crowded arena. This is as stupid as putting a raging bull 
inside a china shop. Eventually, something will get broken," says SAFE Director 
Anthony Terry. 
"What assurances can the circus offer to circus-goers and those living in the 
area that Jumbo the elephant won't become startled and rampage? It only takes 
one idiot to fuel an already volatile situation. The police agree it is 
highly inappropriate to bring these circus animals into an environment that carries 
a heighten degree of risk to the public." 
The number of captive elephants that have rampaged out of control overseas 
since 1990 has lead to 65 human deaths and more than 130 injuries. Many of these 
incidents involve circus elephants. 
"In March this year a 9,000-pound African elephant escaped from a tent sh
ortly before a performance and recaptured in a busy downtown area of Michigan but 
not before sending crowds of onlookers into panic. There are no guarantees 
this won't happen in Waiuku. SAFE urges parents to keep their families well away 
from the area. 

It can truly be said:  Men are the devils of the earth, and the animals are 
the tormented souls. --Arthur Schopenhauer 
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