Activists target fundraising circus hosted by Shriners
An elephant handler of the Tarzan Zerbini Circus washes elephants Maria and Shelly, checks their feet and readies them for their afternoon performance at the Brockville and District Shrine event at the Brockville Memorial Civic Centre on Wednesday, Aug. 8. This annual fundraiser assists the local Shrine Club to raise money to assist families with their medical expenses.
By Doreen Barnes
Posted Aug 16, 2012
EMC News - The fundraising Shrine circus came to town last week. So too did the protesters.
Six adults and one child, some from the Ottawa Animal Defense League, stood on Magedoma/Millwood corner, Brockville, on Wednesday, Aug. 8 with placards denouncing the treatment of animals in circus acts, especially elephants.
According to demonstrator Michele Thorn, the Ottawa Animal Defense League is a loose network of 400 people on Facebook and 400 more on an email list.
"We are here to educate people as to what goes on in circuses with animals in the act," said Thorn. "There are a lot of things on the internet and I know it has its issues sometimes, but you can find undercover videos on line now as to what's happening in the training situations."
When asked if Thorn has spoken with any trainers in the past, she indicated she had and they said the animals are treated well.
"We respect the animals and use the bullhook as a guide," stated Thorn, "that's what they say all the time now. They (animals) are treated well and we have a stellar record. It's legal to use those (bullhooks), so they cannot be charged or cited."
The use of a bullhook is not banned in Ontario.
A small group of circus activists took to the entrance of Magedoma Boulevard on Wednesday, August 8 with placards to denounce the treatment of circus animals, in particular elephants
Activists have followed the Shrine -Tarzan Zerbini performances in Ontario and there were protesters at the Toronto appearance, Kingston as well as Brockville, Wednesday, Aug. 8.
"I will be in Ottawa and Cornwall (demonstrating)," added Thorn. "We are not an organization that can mobilize like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA). They do not have a PETA office in Canada. We are all volunteers and limited in resources. I bought a shower curtain, cardboard and duct tape."
The Tarzan Zerbini circus was brought to the Brockville Memorial Civic Centre by the Brockville and District Shrine Club as a fundraiser.
All the proceeds from this event go towards helping children obtain needed medical treatment.
Elephants Maria and Shelly relax outdoors before their afternoon performance at the Brockville and District Shrine event at the Brockville Memorial Civic Centre last Wednesday, Aug. 8..
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