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» Animals in the Circus

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Animals in the circus?
Yes, domestic only  50% 2 votes
Yes, captive bred No Votes
No  50% 2 votes


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    10th of Aug '14 @ 10:08 AM Hasnt voted yet!

How do you feel about animals in the circus?

For me personally I am against wild animals being in the circus. I think its wrong to take an animal such as an elephant, away from its mother in the wild, break its "spirit" and then have it perform in front of people.

So I have been against any circuses that feature elephants, tigers and lions.

The circus that comes to my area Peter Jolly's Circus has recently come under fire because they've acquired two lionesses, one lion and two tigers.

Before these additions they had other animals which were horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, doves, snakes, a fox, a zebra, a camel, an African bull and a llama.

All of which were fine for me because even the "wild" animals weren't doing tricks. The camel, bull and zebra would just be led into the ring, walk around and then stand in the middle so you could get a look of them. And that was it, they didn't need to stand on their heads or anything like that.

With the introduction of these big cats I'm now in two minds about going to the circus if/when it comes to my area, because I'm against this type of animal being in the circus.

But I did my research and looked into this, and I've found that these big cats Jolly's Circus has have been bred in captivity. So they've not been taken from the wild.

So all these people protesting how these tigers/lions shouldn't be in this tiny enclosure when their used to roaming wide open plains in Africa (or where ever) are stupid because these specific big cats have never been in the wild. They were bred in captivity, they will only know what they've had from day one.

Personally, this looks like a pretty big enclosure - considering these animals have never experienced the plains of Africa.

This then makes me feel better that they haven't just pulled these poor things straight out of the wild.

In England, we have something called DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) who gives licenses to circuses to allow them to use live animals.

Jolly's Circus is only one of two in England that is licensed by DEFRA to use live animals in their show.

What they do is they visit the circus either announced or unannounced and do health checks on the animals - and Jolly's Circus has passed these checks every time, so they have to be doing something right smile_tongue.gif

My personal feelings about the circus are, if the animal is domestic/captive bred (not taken from the wild), are properly looked after and are healthy (not being beaten, starved etc) and are only doing "tricks" that are natural to them - such as a dog pushing a trolley, or a pony walking around the ring (not like an elephant standing on a ball or on its head). Then I have no issues with a circus containing animals.

For more info on DEFRA click HERE.

For the article about Jolly's Circus click HERE.

I don't know if American circuses require licenses - or anywhere else for that matter.

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    16th of Aug '14 @ 8:43 AM Hasnt voted yet!

I'm surprised there aren't more people talking about this. Personally, I'm struggling with captivity in general. When it comes to tricks in general, I think that it's perfectly fine to teach an animal a trick, and that as long as it's being taken care of it should be fine. It's probably even good for the animal to get the interaction, if done properly. The issue I've been hearing about Killer Whales lately. Like, in the wild their fins go straight into the air. They get to swim (according to a rough google search) 100 miles a day. And they're incredibly smart.

I think that my problem comes with bigger animals. I've seen tons of really bored large animals. It just seems kind of like we're wasting them. I guess I'd like to see them get to use their full potential, which isn't necessarily in the wild. But a better balance.

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    17th of Aug '14 @ 6:15 AM Hasnt voted yet!

I think saying that certain people are 'stupid' for their opinion was uncalled for, but besides that...

I'm not against holding animals in captivity. People usually argue that they pity the animals because they'd rather be in the wild, but we don't really know what the animals want, because we have no means of communicating with them on that level.

However, humans used to live in the wild and they've clearly chosen to settle down and live in one place instead. We can also see signs of this in domestic animals like cats, for example. They'll walk for miles to find their home, no matter how sick they are. Even though cats used to live in the wild.

So as long as they're taken care of, I don't mind them being in captivity. To say that they 'belong' in the wild seems odd to me, as we don't know what they'd prefer.

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    20th of Aug '14 @ 1:49 PM Hasnt voted yet!


I believe that some animals truly are happier in captivity as well. Dogs, cats, chickens, horses all seem perfectly happy when they are well cared for. But have you ever been to a zoo where you seen a big cat pacing around back and forth? Or a polar bear just lying down, staring off with nothing to do? It's the big animals that have me concerned that their environments aren't enough for them.

Oh, and as far as communication with animals go, we always go off of their body language and just what we've observed from their counterparts in the wild and how they are in captivity. So... I mean obviously we can't ask them if they want to be in the wild. (and after captivity, most animals literally can't go to the wild) But we can see and understand whether or not they are happy where they are.

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    22nd of Aug '14 @ 10:24 AM Voted for No

Wild animals in captivity are smile_no.gif

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    16th of Nov '14 @ 1:15 AM Voted for Yes, domestic only

I am incredibly against wild animals in the circus. There are certain animals that are safe for captivity and orcas, elephants, and lions are not.

There are animals that cannot have ideal living conditions in circuses or sea world. A dolphin who once used a vast ocean as its home that was captured by sea world or any marine circus now lives in a swimming pool. Sure they get food for free but it isn't the same habitat as much as they might try to mimic it.

This applies to polar bears in the zoo too.

Dogs and cats are different though because they have been domesticated for so many years. They can handle the living space but the thing is they get their required exercise and in a western nation they are going to get treated well most likely. They also receive more animal rights under the law and protection groups.

thr tricks circus animals are required to do like elephants standing on balls are incredibly painful to train for. It's just not right.

I think a dog jumping through hoops is different though since it's easy to train a dog. They are also physically built to jump if they are not a dachshund or something.


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    24th of May '15 @ 1:55 PM Voted for Yes, domestic only

Domestic animals have been tamed, and it isn't as cruel.

rainbow stars

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    5th of Nov '15 @ 5:01 AM Hasnt voted yet!

I should have put more options on this. smile_ohcrap.gif

Wow I made this over a year ago now...

@Amblenight I know what you mean with that cause the whale in Free Willy, had their fin keeled over. With zoos (and with animals in PJ's Circus) I've never seen them pacing back and forth or like swinging their heads around in a repetitive repeated way, so as far as I'm concerned, they have plenty to do smile_happy.gif

@Elisabeth I wasn't like out calling them stupid it was more, you know their saying that wild animals belong in the wild, but these animals in this circus (can't say for other circuses as I only go to this one) haven't been taken from the wild, they have been bred from captive animals that haven't ever been in the wild. So putting these into the wild would confuse them.

@XiaoMoLi I completely agree with you with elephants shouldn't be standing on balls, or on their heads or anything like that. The circus I attend, doesn't have any elephants, but if they ever did get any, it would depend on what 'tricks' the elephant(s) would do as to if I would continue to go there.

For example, if the elephant(s) were just used during the intervals as elephant rides for X amount that I would be okay with, cause that's something simple and not causing stress or future problems to the animal.

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    18th of Jul '16 @ 6:11 AM Voted for No

As a child, I hated it passionately when my aunt and uncle dragged me to the circus...of course, they were being kind and meant well, but I never enjoyed seeing regal, distinguished creatures forced to perform whether or not they felt up to it. Especially the wild creatures. It's degrading and demeaning to them. I've always felt strongly about this, so forgive me if I seem blunt. Imagine that 6 year old having a fit over the "poor lions and tigers and bears"...oh, my!!

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