Why is anyone surprised when captive tigers finally reach the breaking point and decide to seize an opportunity to fight back? That’s what happened when an animal handler with connections to Ringling Bros. circus (you know how that goes) and employed by Circus Pages was grabbed and dragged by a tiger named Gandhi at the Pensacola Interstate Fair:
Of course, Gandhi was made to pay the price for his natural behavior, as the trainer, Vicenta Pages, and another worker whipped him in the face more than two dozen times.
All day, every day, magnificent but stressed tigers are held captive by tawdry circuses and traveling shows, trained with whips and through intimidation, locked inside cages, and denied everything that gives their lives meaning. Instead of the forest and their families, they know and dread only the sting of the whip and are forced to perform tricks that they do not understand—all for fleeting human amusement.
Vicenta Pages is a former Ringling trainer, and as documented in a recent expert report, tigers live in abject misery in that circus, denied the space to roam freely and kept on hot concrete. They live in fear of being punished.
What You Can Do
Families who care about animals should never buy a ticket to any animal act and also tell others why not. Schools should remove these field trips from their approved outings. Fairs should put such displays in the history books. It’s time. Please spread the word to everyone you know.