WILMINGTON -- The Cole Brothers Circus is in Wilmington for the Azalea Festival. But what you see in this show may be different in the future if a proposed statewide ban is placed on exotic animals. One of the circus's feature attractions is Tina and Jule, two elephants that have performed with the circus for years. Elephant trainer William Jacobs says the twin giants have been a target for animal rights groups, who say the exotic animals do not belong in the circus. But Jacobs disagrees, saying, "You cannot judge people because of someone's misfortune. Elephants do live longer in captivity. Everybody just has their own opinion and facts on this topic." The proposed legislation would ban most exotic animals from being kept as pets, in private zoos or in circuses. If passed, Jacobs says the elephants would be able to stay with the circus until they die but they cannot be replaced.
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