Circus animals are well-trained, cared for

Animals used in circuses typically spend their lives being chauffeured everywhere they go, they have personal chefs, personal physicians, chamber maids and personal groomers. They are not left to themselves at home while their human companions go away to work every day. In fact, they work alongside their human companions, and their work brings smiles and laughter to the faces of young and old alike. The USDA is charged with overseeing the living conditions of these highly educated animals, whether on the road or at home in the off-season. The USDA regularly inspects the living conditions of those animals to make sure regulations are followed. Please read your code of federal regulations.

Circus animals typically work 20-30 minutes a day performing, then snooze, eat, lounge and “people watch” for the remainder of the day. “Bull hooks” have a distinct purpose much like the steering wheel of your car. They indicate to the elephant which direction to turn and whether to stop or go. “Bull hooks” are not a torture implement. Can anyone seriously imagine a 4- to 6-ton animal doing anything it doesn’t want to do?

I am an animal trainer and trained and presented my own animals for the delight and education of the public for 12 years. Circus animals are business partners, not pets. In order for an animal to perform a “behavior,” first it must be shown how, thus extinguishing any confusion. “Unnatural?” How natural is it for a human to sit in a chair all day long and push little buttons to translate words into electronic pulses? Yet we have trained ourselves to interact more with a computer than with our children and pets. It would be ridiculous to deprive our children of the chance to see how extraordinary animals can be. Circuses and zoos may facilitate a child’s only personal animal experience.

The circus that just visited La Plata County runs one of the nation’s largest and most respected elephant rehabilitation and breeding sanctuaries that strives to perpetuate the safety and longevity of the species.

Educate yourselves. Don’t let the malcontents spread poison.

Sylven Watson

Durango

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