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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A lot of people enjoy the circus when it comes to town, but others outside the event do not find it as amusing.

A group of protestors rallied near the airport this afternoon as advocates of the animals at the circus. They say the animals involved in the circus this weekend are constantly abused and mistreated. They want people to know that cruelty is not entertainment.

“How else are you going to get a tiger to jump through a ring of fire? You’re not going to do it with a pat on the back. You’re going to do it with beatings, and it starts when they’re cubs, and it starts when the elephants are tiny,” protestor Lorraine Moe said. “They have a baby at the Cole Bros. Circus this year, and I just cringe to think what they’re doing to make him do the things he has to do.”

Two years into a government animal cruelty investigation, the Cole Bros. Circus surrendered its license, and turned over permit responsibilities to its trainers. The circus denies allegations of any animal cruelty.

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  • On Monday April 9, 2012 Cole Brothers paid a $15,000 “settlement” to the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act and then go on their way to the next venue to continue abusing animals – where is the justice for animals in that scenario? The abuse, exploitation, cruelty and neglect animals are subjected to in circuses and traveling shows are horrific and heartbreaking. If you respect animals and care about their welfare, do not attend, employ or promote circuses that use animals. For the few minutes you see animals “performing” they suffer a lifetime of inhumane confinement, abuse and cruelty. Visit Break The Chain http://breakthechainus.com/ to learn more about the campaign to bring an end to circus animal suffering in the USA, and how you can support The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 3359, a bill introduced by Congressman Jim Moran, that is extremely vital to the lives of these animals and to ending this cruelty. Cole Brothers: http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/Cole_Bros_Circus_Factsheet.pdf.

  • PtGary

    The key words in the above story “not verified”. The websites listed for you to see – animal rights propaganda sites. The settlement between circus and the USDA does not mean there was any violation of the AWA. The public grows increasingly tired of the propaganda often directed against circuses, zoos, and private ownership of even dogs and cats. We respect your rights to NOT see a circus – please respect the rights of others to enjoy circuses with animals. While you accept extinction of animals – we do not.

  • Guest123

    Oh, Great Day ! Protesting the circus again. a couple years ago there were only dancing poodles & no exotic animals which is what people go to see at the circus. Why didn’t your group complain the poodles were standing on their back legs ballet dancing?

    The circus has been around as long as most can recall. it is a fun family event and I have never seen anyone hitting the animals while there. Go home and take a nap and stop trying to put a stop to something most look forward to.

    Also, I taught my dog to jump in the river when I throw a ball in there and guess what ,I didn’t hit or starve her to get her to do it.

    If they give a lion a treat to jump through a hoop the lion will do it for the treat. You automatically think if an animal of any type does a trick it has been beaten ??? If you see whip marks scaring the elephants bodies then complain ,otherwise get off the side of the road with your silly signs assuming animal abuse when there most likely is none!

  • Fun entertainment for who? Certainly not for the animals kept on chains and in cages all the months of travel (just where would any city let them loose to exercise?) Of course the carnies are not going to beat them in front of customers. That is done behind closed curtains during training/abuse. However now the carnies are using tazers because they fit in their hands and it looks like they are just patting an animal to get it to do the abnormal behavior/trick. These animals are slaves until they die. Where is a sense of mercy and sense of justice for them, not for a myopic sense of right to view a tragedy? No one is seeing an animal in the circus, they are seeing a tragedy.

  • Guest12345689665522


    Open your eyes…




    and in the third link’s video…that is a metal prong being gouged into the elephants skin…how would you like to be dragged around like that on a daily basis??? It’s right in front of your eyes, wake up.

  • PtGary

    Beatings? Thats ridiculous animal “rights” propaganda…bought and paid for (much of it) and often thrown out of court for being – just that! Animals are readily taught simple performance routines via positive reinforcement the same way (GOD FORBID) you teach your dog to “roll over”. For the same reason Fido enjoys the roll over, so does a circus elephant. Many circus animals bond to their human family for life. I wish I had the health care plan of a circus elephant! Go to see Cole Bros. Circus – its one of America’s finest!

  • Guest2020

    How many of you people who protest the alleged cruel treatment of animals are in favor of murdering unborn children? Some people need to get their priorities in order.

  • Christt McGirtt

    Ok. Enough said already. Nothing more needs to be said, written, nor advertised by people screaming while holding signs as I entered into the drive of the Cole Bros. Circus with my three girls: (10), (11) & (12). I myself witnessed the mistreatment of animals, right before my very eyes. As the cute as pie, prissy, delicate “pink poodles” rode out on the cutsie pink car with their 2 trainers, my girls & I witnessed the first set whom were lured down from the car with treats, we watched as it may have been the last trip down for one of the smaller, chocolate brown poodles, as when it’s performance was over it was lured back up to the little pink car by yet more treats. After the next group was finished they also were lured back onto the car with treats. Yet, this time, while this group jumped back to the car, the small, chocolate brown poodle, was knocked off of the car by another performing poodle. It was apparent that the smaller dogs leg was hurt. However, the trainer scooped it up & place the seemingly hurt poodle back onto the car. Sad, to say, that about 5 mins. Later in the performance the pup was put back down on the ground as it was lured by treats to run, jump up to a slide & slide down. At no surprise to me, the poodle couldn’t ‘t even be lured by treats to do so. It was then nudged by one of the trainers, to slide down the slide the slide while people in the audience were clapping and cheering the little poodle on. Not me, I was holding my breath as I watched the pitiful little pup to struggle as it limped back to the car. At this time I was thinking to myself, if they still knowingly put that pitiful little dog, back down to perform knowing that it had just mins. Prior been knocked to the ground, & injured, if they would even care to get the pups leg checked put by a vet? Whether it be by a local or traveling one?
    My youngest daughter (10) looked up at me and said, ” WOW”, I can’t even imagine the tricks that we could train our family(Boston Terrier) to do if we gave her treats all the time, but I wouldn’t want our (Lucy) to do tricks for treats if she was hurt. I would just love on her & give her treats for being sad & hurt. Kind of like you do for us after we get our “big girl” shots. I just melted in my chair, as I noticed that even the youngest of my three girls could feel the pain of the injured dog. I was CRUSHED!!!
    Nothing else to say other than when the Cole Bros. Circus rolls into Wilmington next year, the closest we will be to the animals will be: picketing on the side of the entrance to the circus with the local PETA group. I will continually pray for all of the precious animals as I also pray that everyone, with a love for animals please join me next year with the PETA Org. And if you are a family member with any type of pet, please ask yourselves, would you want for your precious 4- legged family member to be in this type of situation?

  • Not a sheep

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