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How do circuses train animals?

Joel Parrott, executive director of the Oakland Zoo, testified before Congress that training “can be severe, using techniques that include prolonged hitting by the elephant trainer with clubs, stabbing with the point of the ankus, pitchforks, electricity, electric prods, prolonged chaining, and food deprivation.”

Trainers have been documented hitting tigers in the face with ax handles, shoving ax handles down lions’ throats, dragging leopards across the ground by chains around their necks, and depriving animals of food in order to force them to perform. Elephant babies, ripped from their mothers’ sides, perform under threat of punishment night after night, eyes always riveted on the person with the metal hook or the whip.

Circuses that exploit animals have no place in a compassionate society. It’s time for all of us to stop patronizing animal circuses—and to demand that the animal performers be sent to sanctuaries, where they can live out their lives in dignity. For more information, please click here.

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