I recently visited one of the last events of the great Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Tampa, Florida at the Amalie Arena. I was struck by the number of Animal Rights people with signs telling of 146 years of animal torture. I know that there was some in the day, as elephants were often abused with sticks, but not sure anymore. I do fear for all the animals safety when this ends, as there are many poachers, and few rules.
I saw Taba , an amazing tiger trainer, in an caged area with six tigers, who were all fantastic, and in the end Taba was able to kiss one!. As the program noted,” Taba and his entourage of exotic Bengal tigers demonstrate an intimate bond between human and animal that indeed is unforgettable.”
I did not see any elephants, and assume they have been retired to pasture, but I saw magnificent dogs performing amazing tricks, and camels circling around in majestic form, as well as clowns, acrobatic and trapeze acts. All excellent, and all brought a bit of nostalgia!
Having worked in the Meadowlands Stadium, home of NY sport teams, and the circus; I can tell you the circus employees many people in production, advertising, the acts themselves, and more often selling the programs, shirts and many other staff. They will hurt, but the real tragedy is that something that lasted 146 years will pass, and the wonder in many children will no longer be repeated generation after generation!
Bill Weightman, Hardyston,