Circus shouldn’t run
Updated: July 22, 2012 6:25AM
I am disappointed to learn a circus with wild animals, including elephants (an endangered species), is scheduled to return to Wilmette, the only North Shore community that still hosts this kind of event. Increasingly, small towns, cities, and countries are banning wild animal performances, due to concerns about safety and animal welfare.
All circus trainers use the same methods to train elephants and other wild animals. The tap from the elephant trainer’s “bullhook” reminds the elephant of past training terrors. Elephants are hit repeatedly with multiple weapons and are chained immobile for long periods to break their spirit and make them submissive.
The stress causes some elephants to “rampage,” too often injuring or killing the trainer and endangering the public. The long list of incidents includes police having to shoot escaped elephants.
I am part of a coalition of scientists and advocates who work to help retire and rehabilitate elephants who suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the circus environment. Jane Goodall says, “To see an elephant, so utterly majestic in nature, being forced to sit on a little tub, is an abomination.”
We should inspire kids to help animals and not support a circus with wild animals. Instead, support activities are fun and educational. For example, The Circus of the Kids is an option where community kids are the stars.
Those who agree should write/email the Village Board of Trustees before their June 26 meeting, and ask them to deny the permit for the circus with wild animals.
Valerie J. Chalcraft