Despite Ringling Brothers' well-established reputation for abusing the animals in its care, Jacksonville Magazine is promoting the circus with a ticket giveaway:
*Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey* presents *Built To Amaze**!* Drama, surprise and wonder build the excitement so BIG that it could only be *The Greatest Show On Earth*. Jacksonville Magazine is giving away a pair of tickets to the circus. To enter to win, email email@example.com with the subject line "Win Circus Tickets." We will choose a winner at random on January 11.
Jacksonville Magazine knows that it is unethical to promote this harmful and abusive business. In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture fined Ringling $270,000 for violations of the Animal Welfare Act related to the treatment of elephants, tigers, and zebras. This was the largest fine ever assessed against a circus. In 1998, a three-year-old elephant named Kenny died right here in Jacksonville after a performance (http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/013198/2b1DEAD_.html). Sadly, he is only one of Ringling's fatalities after repeated citations by the USDA (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/elephant-abuse-adi-protest_n_923882.html).
Animal circuses have been widely banned throughout the US and the world because of their inherent harmfulness to animals. Bans are in place in dozens of municipalities — including Clearwater, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach in Florida alone — and even in entire countries, including Austria, Bolivia and Greece. Elephants in the wild roam miles each day and live in complex family groups. There is no way to meet their physical and social needs in captivity, particularly when they spend the majority of their time confined to train cars, tethered in arena parking lots, or performing unnatural acts for "entertainment."