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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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