Why? I loved the circus. It came to town every year, so why not go again? My dad had a reason though.
How does the circus get wild animals to "perform"? The outcome was spectacular, so I wanted to know how it was done. And that's when I realized why I didn't get taken to the circus after that, and why I never would go again.
Here is a video of Ringling Bros Circus elephants backstage getting ready to perform. I didn't make the video or add any words to it and don't claim to support any organization mentioned or whatever, basically all I want this video for is the footage. There's some use of curse words.
This pre-show treatment of the elephants and tigers is only the tip of the iceberg. This handling of the elephants is after they have been trained to do these tricks, just to make them stand in a line. Now try to gently teach an elephant to stand on its head, or a tiger to jump through a hoop of fire.
The Wildlife Advocacy Project did a story on the circus you can read here, as well as the New York Times here.
Training is where circuses catch the most attention. Bullhooks, chains, ropes and whips are used in the "breaking and training" process of the elephants. Hidden cameras have been used to capture some of the footage in the training centers, just like the ones used above. These cameras were placed by trainers, who disagree with the training methods used. I don't know who all reads this site, so putting the videos directly on here might be inappropriate because of the graphic language and disturbing footage. So some links are below.
The circus was always a family event, and we had a lot of fun every time. The $10-$20 ticket per person is worth the mistreatment of the animals to the circus, but is it to you?
I didn't have any part of making the videos I have links to. So ill quote myself, "I didn't make the video or add any words to it and don't claim to support any organization mentioned or whatever, basically all I want this video for is the footage." It's important for me to say that I'm not singling out Ringling Bros. This post is about the use of wild animals in any circus.
Baby elephant training
Sarah, the Ringling elephant