Everett– If you missed the circus this weekend it may be years before you get to see it again.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced last week it will not to return to the Pacific Northwest for at least a couple years according to a company spokesman.
This was welcome news to animal advocates who shouted their message outside the Xfinity Arena in Everett for the last time on Sun. Oct 4.
Around 35 protesters rallied under the watchful eyes of police and arena officials accusing the live entertainment company of animal abuse while hundreds of families and couples flooded the gates to gain entrance to the show. The gold unit, which travels by truck and is the smaller of Ringling’s three tour groups, features trapeze artists, dancers, acrobats, and clowns. It also has animal performances including dogs that walk on two legs, jump ropes, ride scooters and jump through hoops. Horses carry jumping acrobats on their backs and two elephants sit on stools and twirl hoops.
Sadie Woolman-Morgan, from Snohomish, Wash. who was there with her mother, Jackie, said they came to “speak up for creatures who don’t have a voice.” “It’s absolutely wrong,” said Sadie, “They beat their animals and chain them up.” Her mother Jackie added, “We don’t support things that keep animals in captivity like this.”
Steve Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company who owns the circus, says, “We do want to come back to the Pacific Northwest but right now we don’t have anything scheduled.” Requests by Animal News Northwest to photograph the animals or the circus were denied.
Ringling Bros. who brought the “Built to Amaze” tour to the Seattle area in Kent the previous weekend will head to Spokane next weekend, Oct.9-11. The tour officially ends in Iowa on Oct. 25.
Payne encourages circus fans not to lose hope. “We will be back!” he said.
Last March Ringling Bros. announced it would phase out elephants from its shows. According to an article in the Christian Science Monitor Feld owns 43 elephants, and 29 of the giant animals live at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida. Thirteen animals will continue to tour with the circus before retiring to the center by 2018. One elephant is on a breeding loan to the Fort Worth Zoo.”
Rachel Bjork from the Northwest Animal Rights Network is “ecstatic” the circus won’t be coming back. “The circus is no life for animals.” she says. Bjork has been protesting the circus for ten years and says she will now have time to do other things.