We’ve poured our hearts into the elephants-don’t-belong-in-circuses crusade. Progress!
NOW IT’S TIME TO SAVE THE BIG CATS WHO SUFFER in Ringling and other traveling shows. LIONS, TIGERS, PANTHERS, COUGARS … all of these MAGNIFICENT AND MAJESTIC wild cats have captivated humankind’s imagination for millennia. Because they are so big, so beautiful, so exotic. All the more reason to let them BE FREE IN THE WILD, WHERE THEY BELONG. – Rosalie Tirella
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus made headlines when it announced that it was phasing out its cruel and dangerous elephant acts by 2018. However, many circuses, including Ringling, continue to exploit and abuse big cats, and, for those animals, there is no end in sight yet.
Here are six reasons why big cats do NOT belong in circuses:
1. In circuses, big cats are often forced to live intiny, cramped cages.
Circuses routinely cart animals from town to town in barren cages that deprive lions and tigers of opportunities to fulfill their basic needs to exercise, roam, socialize, forage, and play. Many big cats are forced to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate in the same place. The only relief that many are given from this nearly perpetual confinement is during their brief performances, when they are subjected to whippings and roaring crowds. As a result of captivity, many big cats are overweight, while others suffer psychologically. The stressful, unnatural environment can cause some to pace back and forth or even mutilate themselves.
2. Their maternal bond is broken.
In the wild, young tigers grow up with their mothers, but animals used in circuses are often separated long before they would naturally part, causing emotional distress for both mothers and cubs.
3. Their basic social and physiological needs are denied.
Tigers are naturally semi-nocturnal and love the water. In circuses, they’re carted around and forced to perform in the daytime and denied access to any kind of watering hole.
Adult tigers are solitary animals, but circuses ignore this fact and make them live in unnatural and often incompatible groups, sometimes resulting in fights and injuries.
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