The use of wild animals in global events such as circuses and festivals has strongly been debated over the last few years, and many countries have made it illegal to use wild animals in forceful situations that these events require.
The abuse and suffering that animals go through at the hands of the entertainment industry are truly heartbreaking, and it's a harrowing fact that it still happens to this very day.
Recent footage of an elderly elephant in Sri Lanka that has now passed away has devasted millions around the world and has shown the harsh realities of the lives of animals used, forcefully, for performances and entertainment. Keep scrolling to learn of the late elephant's story, and what needs to be done to protect our wildlife...
Wild animals have been used for entertainment for years now.These types of entertainment include circuses, festivals, hunting, dog fighting, aquariums, zoos, and even fishing. All of these practices go against animals' will, which is what makes them much more controversial today.
Not all forms of entertainment are cruel to animals...Zoos that are considered to be wildlife enclosures for endangered species and organizations that are designed to protect animals are here for a good purpose and allow members of the public access to view, and enjoy seeing, these wild animals.
But numerous organizations have been known to abuse and exploit their animals.The use of animals in circuses, in which they are forced to perform tricks and wear human clothes, has been branded cruel and inhumane, and, ultimately, it has been made illegal in several parts of the world.
More and more circuses have been going "animal-free..."Circuses required animals to travel hundreds of miles every year in small and confined spaces, and as Animal Equality stated, people who visit an animal circus will learn nothing about an animal's natural behavior, and, instead, will only see an animal stressed and anxious due to constant slavery. Many circuses around the world have seen the impact that this has had on animals and have made the wise and kind decision to no longer involve animals in their practices.
A concern for public safety...Wild animals are unpredictable and will act according to their instincts. It has been proven that these poor wild animals can snap at any moment due to the constant stress and confinement to which they are inflicted.
Disaster can strike at any moment...PETA reported an incident during the 2014 Moolah Shrine Circus show in Missouri, in which 3 elephants escaped from their handlers in the children's rides area after becoming stressed from the circus noises. They were loose for around forty-five-minutes and damaged multiple cars in the process - nobody was injured but things could have taken a much more deadly turn.
The use of animals in festivals is no different...Festivals around the world have been known to use animals as part of parades and for entertainment value, and some are designed to celebrate animals themselves. The Elephant Festival in India is celebrated every year in Jaipur, and it focuses solely on the Asian elephant and its contributions to Indian culture.
The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of guests...The people of India proudly decorate their elephants with colored paint and heavy jewelry, including garnishing their tusks with real gold bracelets and rings. The elephants are required to march through a parade and to take part in games such as Elephant Polo and Tug-Of-War.
The festival has caused controversy in the past, however...
The Elephant Festival was canceled in the years 2012 and 2014 due to protests from animal activists.They stated that the paints that are applied to the elephant's skin are laced with chemicals, and would be potentially harmful to these wild animals. Activists also argued that the elephants taking part in the festival were being subjected to "performing" and, as a result, the Animal Welfare Board needed to grant permission for the animals to be used.