Sneaking into town?

By Rosalie Tirella

Let’s hope the circus ISN’T coming to town! InCity Times has run several cover stories on Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey. They come to Worcester in the fall – but also in the spring. Usually at last minute’s notice.  Usually to beat the bad press (except for the stupid Telegram and Gazette) that follows them.

We hope this grand city at some point chooses to keep all exotic animal acts out of town. Revere has banned wild/exotic animal “acts” and so have other US cities. More and more people are waking up to the fact that it is absolutley insane to cart wild tigers, lions and elephants around in un-airconditioned (in summer), un-heated (in winter) box cars, feed them the wrong stuff, and then whip them into doing things that are totally unnatural for them (except when they maul or kill a trainer). Why must we show our children animal torture? Why must they be a party to the suffering?

The USDA has cited Ringling Bros and B & B numerous times – for letting their animals perform while sick, for not caring for them properly. (Many of the elephants have tuberculosis, which can be transmitted to kids). The vets at circuses are mouthpieces for their bosses – they are not there for the animals’ well being. There have, however, been numerous vets and trainers who have quit Ringling Bros. only to write exposes on the circus’s treatment of its wild animals.

But even in the best of circumstances, circus animals go “insane.” Imagine an elephant losing his natural habitat and ways. Instead of traipsing through miles and miles of African or Indian land to eat, breed, recreate, he gets: a cage, chains on his feet, hook through the sensistive trunk. Gone are his family, his friends. Elephants are amazingly intelligent: they have an excellent memory, they mourn their dead, they all take care of the baby elephants in their group.  There have been films taken of baby elephants who have lost their moms to poaching. The baby elephant is filmed crashing into a gate, just crashing its head against the wall over and over and over again. In zoos the panthers and other big cats pace up and back, up and back in their cages. The have pretty much gone insane … Why must we Worcesterites – good people – support something that is so blatantly wrong?

InCity Times has asked Worcester City Officials to educate themselves on wild animal welfare and to do the right thing and ban circuses that use wild animals. This can easily be put into local laws. We do not need state approval. Konnie Lukes or some other forward thinking city councilor only needs to make a motion on the coucil floor.  And let’s can the “it’s good for economic development” bullshit/argument.  Worcester does not need the money nor the exposure from the cirucs. With the Hanover Theatre and all the restaurants and everything else that goes on in Wormtown. Remember the weekend where 20,000 people hurried down our center city streets as they made their ways to our plays, Broadway shows, clubs and  restaurants? We don’t need Ringling Bros. and the tainted cash they stuff into our coffers.

Let’s start a petition. Let’s go to City Hall and ask our “leaders” to “lead” on this issue/do the right thing: Ban exotic animal acts from Worcester.

If any one wants to join us or has any ideas, please get in touch with us.

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