Ban the use of traveling wild animal acts or shows: Wilmington, North Carolina.
We oppose using wild animal acts or shows that travel to Wilmington, NC because of the cruelty. Animals that are used in the circus are abused. It is a well known fact. Physical punishment has always been the standard training method for animals in circuses, and travelling wild animal shows. Animals are beaten, shocked, and whipped to make them perform, over and over again, tricks that make no sense to them. The Animal Welfare Act: AWA allows the use of bullhooks, whips, electrical shock prods, or other devices by circus trainers. Trainers drug some animals to make them “manageable” and surgically remove the teeth and claws of others. Each year during the Wilmington Azalea Festival in April, Cole Bros. Circus comes to town. A circus that is know for its abuse of their animals. Cole Brothers Circus has failed to meet minimal federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Cole Bros. Circus numerous times for failure to provide veterinary care, adequate shelter from the elements, and proper food and water, as well as failure to handle animals in a manner that prevents trauma and harm and ensures public safety. Cole Bros. Circus currently employs notoriously cruel elephant trainer Tim Frisco to tour with, and handle the elephants. This undercover video, http://youtu.be/5ulw7RtZoao [warning, graphic] shows Tim Frisco's brutal conduct with these highly intelligent, sentient beings. He viciously attacked, yelled and cursed at, and electric shocked the elephants. Frisco instructed other elephant trainers to beat the elephants with a bullhook as hard as they could and to sink the sharp metal bullhook into the animals’ flesh and twist it until they screamed in pain. The videotape also showed a handler who used a blowtorch to remove elephants’ hair as well as chained elephants and caged bears who exhibited stereotypical behaviors caused by mental distress. Another wild animal travelling show that came to Wilmington, during the Cape Fear and Expo, (2015) was 'Elephant Encounter'. A circus-style show that forces elephants to engage in unnatural and sometimes even painful tricks that they would never do in the wild. The bullhooks used by Elephant Encounter's owner William Morris and his family, are stark reminders that the elephants perform not because they want to, but because they know they have to or risk punishment. The USDA has cited Morris for repeated failure to provide adequate veterinary care, for failure to provide two undersized elephants with a nutritious diet, and for failure to provide shelter from the elements and adequate ventilation. Morris also leases his elephant act to circuses and fairs. Animals used in the circus and travelling shows are abused, and also have limited space, have to travel extended hours inside vehicles, lack free exercise, have restricted natural behaviors, and exhibit stress from abnormal conditions; any of these circumstances can cause the animals to be prone to health, behavioral and psychological suffering, and sometimes even insanity. The extreme levels of stress that circus animals endure can make an already dangerous animal, even more dangerous, a scary thought when you consider their close proximity to the public, especially children. Wild animals behave instinctively and unpredictably. Animals have escaped from the circus and have 'run amok' through streets and have attacked members of the public. These situations have resulted in human injuries and even deaths. Additionally, some circus elephants have been diagnosed with a human strain of Tuberculosis (TB) and have passed it on to their handlers. Elephants in circuses are predisposed to TB because of routine transport that often exposes them to other infected elephants and because of stress factors, including severe punishment, constant confinement, inconsistent water quality and food supply, and poor nutrition. TB is an airborne disease which spreads through tiny droplets in the air. If TB is diagnosed in an elephant there are clear public health implications as the disease can be spread by close contact with infected animals and people. Circuses often allow members of the public to feed, pet, and ride the elephants which puts them at a great risk. Caring people can make a difference to animals trapped in the circus and traveling wild animal acts. The best tool we have is to educate people about animal suffering and to encourage them to stop patronize any place that uses animals for their own financial gain. As long as people continue to spend money doing so these displays will continue to exist and the animals will continue to be abused and to suffer. Wild captive animals do not belong in these shows. It is time to end the use animals as entertainment.
Tregembo Animal Park is a family owned roadside zoo that has been in business since 1952.
http://whqr.org/post/usda-cites-tregembo-animal-park-animal-welfare-act-violations #ShutDownTregembo Close down Tregembo Animal Park formally known as ‘Tote ‘Em In Zoo’ located in Wilmington, North Carolina. Peta’s 1998 summer issue of ‘Animal Times’ profiled the problems at the zoo, naming it one of the worst roadside zoos in the country. On August 14, 2013 and again in June 2015 I and others visited this zoo. The conditions at this zoo were sub-standard. The cages were barren, and many of the animals were housed alone. The enclosures had an accumulation of feces and urine. The cages were barren without enrichment; the animals seemed extremely bored, pacing around in circles or pacing back and forth. I observed the animals pacing, circling, head bobbing, rocking, licking cage bars, coprophagia, and biting the bars of the cage. The snakes were living in enclosures with weeks worth of feces. Animals had insufficient shelter from the weather. The camel. zebra, ponies, goats, emus, donkeys and the ostrich (missing a lot of feathers) had a metal structure that only had three sides . The pony structure was not large enough to fit all of them in it at the same time; this was their only coverage to escape the weather conditions. The turtle enclosure had shells from dead turtles. The smaller animals had a plastic dog 'house' which I can only imagine that being in it, in the hot and humid North Carolina heat, was hotter than sitting in the sun. (Some of these dog houses were in direct sunlight) There was hay for the goats and ponies, but I didn't see any food for the animals in their cages, ~ other then food for the rabbits and birds, which was placed on the floor of the bird cages and was covered in bird droppings. (Although I did see half eaten rotten pear in the prairie dogs enclosure) The only animals I saw that had fresh water were the primates and a fennec fox; they had access to a water spout / hose. The other animals had rancid, stagnate water and it had a fowl odor, algae was noticeable. The water containers were also rusted and dirty. I witnessed stereotypical behavior, pacing back and forth, and head bobbing. It gets extremely hot here in NC, the animals were overheated, and they were panting heavily. Many of the cages did not have covers on them, and the only choice the larger animals had was to stay in the hot sun, or retreat into a metal or concrete enclosure. The brown bear named Booger, was constantly licking the bars of his concrete cage, panting heavily from the heat. There is a 24 year old tiger named Sinbad, who has advanced arthritis, his back legs could not support his own weight, and he looked very thin. There are two black panthers housed together in a concrete enclosure (while I was there the two panthers were fighting, I have video of this) but all the other large animals are kept by themselves. The white tiger also seemed thin. In my opinion, Tregembo zoo fails to meet the unique needs of the captive wild animals that they house and display, such as spacious and natural habitat, specialized diets, exercise, and opportunities to express natural behaviors, These animals are spending their lives in small barren cages, living on concrete or hard compacted dirt, and are denied the basic necessities of fresh food and water, shelter from the elements, and companionship. They have developed captivity-induced health problems and neurotic behaviors as a result of living in grossly sub-standard conditions. Many animals, such as poor Sinbad, have suffered in cramped cages for decades. *** update *** April 2014... I have just learned that Sinbad the 24 year old tiger has died. He spent his life on concrete, and I believe that contributed to the arthritis that gave him such pain for so many years. I do not know if Tregmebo zoo plans on replacing Sinbad with another tiger. I hope not. Namaste sweet Sinbad. Also, for those who are interested, there is a newly formed group here in the Wilmington NC area called, R.O.A.R. Reaching Out for Animal Rights, we have protested Tregembo Zoo and will continue to do so. Please join our Facebook group page... you do not have to live in the area to join... thank you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/213410132151895/