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Saturday, December 3, 2011
ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Animal rights activists in Clatsop County have convinced the board of commissioners to put the future of circuses featuring animals on the ballot.
Voters will vote on an ordinance to ban such circuses in May, the Daily Astorian reports (http://bit.ly/ufGGLD ).
"This is stuff that has disturbed me for much of my life," said Carol Newman, a proponent of the ban.
At the center of the controversy is the use of certain animal taming techniques and tools. Those include a "bull hook," used to guide elephants by driving the hook into the elephant's skin.
Some within the circus industry say bull hooks are analogous to dog leashes, Newman said, a point with which she strongly disagreed.
"Elephants are not intended to be up-close-and-personal animals," Newman said.
The ban would cover elephants, as well as exotic animals as defined by state statute, including large cats, any bears except black bears, primates and large reptiles. The referendum makes exceptions for 4-H animals, animals used for educational shows and rodeos.
Feld Entertainment, the company that operates the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, said in a letter to the commission that the company's elephant management practices are in line with federal guidelines.
Company vice president for government relations Thomas Albert urged the board to "reject the efforts of a small minority of activists to impose their personal philosophy on the larger community."
The letter was sent on Oct. 31. On Nov. 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $270,000 fine agreement with the company for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, dating from 2007 to 2011. It's the largest civil penalty levied under the Animal Welfare Act in its 45-year history.
County leaders say they've looked at Redmond, Wash., as a model of a city that has banned the exhibition of wild or exotic animals. Other Washington state cities, including Port Townsend, have enacted similar bans.
This year’s show line-up includes:
· Joseph Dominick Bauer, ringmaster. Hailing from Swiss circus royalty, Bauer is emcee and conqueror of the Wheel of Death.· Daniel Raffo, world-renowned tiger trainer. Direct from Argentina, Raffo’s bevy of beautiful Bengal big cats are untamed, untethered and utterly unpredictable.· Andrea and Lluvia, a daring duo who hang high above the arena by their hair, spinning at dangerous speeds and juggling flaming batons.· Broadway Bo, the world’s largest performing elephant, trained by Larry Carden. In a jaunty top hat, see this incredible five-ton pachyderm perform feats of precision and perfection.· The Christiani family, bubbly and bouncing comics. This Italian family reaches remarkable heights while their rambunctious antics leave the audience reeling.· Guiming Meng from China, who amazes in displays of dexterity and determination.· Caroline Williams and the Liberty Horses. Eight generations of German equestrian circus history course through Williams’ high-stepping steeds.· Hernando and Marius, performers of Motorcycle Madness. Not for the faint of heart, Hernando and Marius take motocross to new heights, combining dangerous daredevil antics and a delicate incline wire.· Fabio’s Extreme Riders, It’s a Small World After All. Fabio’s fearless foursome fly encased in a steel globe. When inches count, Fabio’s riders do not disappoint.· David Smith, Jr., human cannonball. Smith is a multi-award winning Human Cannonball, holding the world’s record for both height and distance as he blasts from his booming barrel.
Show times are: January 5, 7:00 p.m.; January 6, 7:30 p.m.; and January 7 and 8, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day.
General admission tickets are $12 for children (12 and under) and $18 for adults. Reserved seating is available for $23 to $45. Children two and under are free with a paid adult. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office at 702.284.7777 or by visiting www.orleansarena.com.
Public health officials found 108 likely cases of E. coli among people who had attended the 2004 State Fair. Investigators traced the outbreak to the Crossroads Farm Petting Zoo in Chatham County, which exhibited at the fair, and noted the illness was widespread among children who likely had direct contact with animal manure.
The families of 14 children who became seriously ill sued the state, alleging that officials with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services knew about the E. coli risk but failed to warn fairgoers.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission, which handles tort claims against the state, heard the lawsuit this summer and issued its ruling Friday.
"The greater weight of evidence shows that those responsible for conducting the 2004 North Carolina State Fair exercised reasonable care to keep its premises in a reasonably safe condition for lawful visitors," Deputy Commissioner J. Brad Donovan wrote in the 27-page ruling.
The commission found that hand sanitizer was available at the petting zoo and that the fair posted signs advising people to wash their hands before and after touching the animals. Such protocols were normal for agricultural fairs nationwide at the time, the commission said.
In 2005, state legislators passed a law to prevent children from walking around with the animals in petting zoos and requiring hand-washing stations at such facilities. Fair officials also erected double fencing to keep people out of bedding areas in the petting zoo.
"To complain in retrospect that there should have been additional washing stations or more specific language on the signage is more reflective of the value of hindsight than indicative of negligent conduct on the part of fair operators," the ruling states.
Another E. coli outbreak at this year's State Fair, which sickened 27 people, was traced to a livestock building on the fairgrounds.
By Kurt Madar firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent casting call in Shiprock for a movie titled "Silver Bullet" sparked an Internet rumor that the name was actually the production title for Disney Studio's "The Lone Ranger."
Those rumors are true.
Agencies and officials directly connected with the movie aren't spilling the beans, but the New Mexico Film Office confirmed that "Silver Bullet" is indeed "The Lone Ranger."
"I can't comment on whether that's the case or not," said Mark Amo, director of the Phil L. Thomas Performing Arts Center, where the Nov. 19 casting call took place. "I will tell you this: The very first phone call I got was from Silver Springs (Colorado) and the person said I know what movie this really is.'"
Since the casting call was sent out in October under the misleading name, the question of whether it was "The Lone Ranger" went viral across film industry websites.
The popular blog site Sindication claimed to have a copy of the casting report, and numerous other industry websites reported that "Silver Bullet" was indeed the eagerly anticipated Disney film staring Arnie Hammer as the masked rider and Johnny Depp as Tonto.
"I really can't comment on that," said Elizabeth Gabel, owner of Elizabeth Gabel Casting, the company in charge of the recent casting call. read more: http://www.daily-times.com/ci_19461593
Cirque du Soleil came to town and has fit right in, providing only-in-Las Vegas entertainment
The company came to Las Vegas two decades ago with a circus tent and big dreams. The tent is long gone — Cirque has a string of specially designed theaters, and its big-budget extravaganzas dominate the Strip’s marquees. There are seven Cirque shows currently in residence in Las Vegas, though “Viva Elvis” is slated to depart Aria next year after failing to attract a large enough audience.
Still, by any measure, Cirque is an astounding success, and it is a classic Las Vegas success story. Like many people and companies that land in Southern Nevada, Cirque has its roots elsewhere — Montreal — but it found a home in the Mojave Desert. The company started relatively small and grew. Its rise came along with the incredible growth in Las Vegas and the boom of multibillion-dollar resorts.
Not all that long ago, it was hard to imagine that people would pay $100 for a ticket to any show in Las Vegas, but then Cirque started pushing the envelope with more expensive productions.
Over the years, the company has been criticized for its ticket prices. It may have paced the big, high-priced production shows, but it is hardly alone. As Strip resorts aimed their sights at luxury and upscale accommodations, they sought entertainment to match. A series of Broadway productions has played the Strip, commanding top dollar. Individual performers have done the same — Garth Brooks, anyone? No one should begrudge them that, and no one should hold their success against them. People are more than willing to buy tickets and, judging by how people keep returning, they’re obviously getting their money’s worth.
Some of Cirque’s critics complain that the company has taken over the showrooms and squeezed out live performers and the more traditional Las Vegas acts. Cirque certainly isn’t the “classic” Las Vegas act with showgirls or a stand-up comedian, but to blame it for pushing out other entertainers misses the point.
Cirque has created a new type of Las Vegas entertainment — a show that is an extravaganza, something you can’t see anywhere else. That’s why people pay the ticket prices they do — they’re going to see a type of entertainment they can’t find back home.
To us, that’s the essence of Las Vegas. People come here to see something new, and time and again people in Las Vegas take a chance and create something that couldn’t be done anywhere else. And Cirque certainly fits the bill. (Who else builds a 1.5 million-gallon pool as a “stage?”)
Las Vegas has long had a stunning concentration of top-notch entertainment options in the area, including Broadway-styled productions, live music acts and variety shows. And Cirque has fit right in.
No matter anyone’s personal views of entertainment, it seems clear that Cirque has enriched the entertainment community in town and added to Las Vegas’ brand. The company created a name for itself by being just as over-the-top as its adopted hometown. Take a good look at Cirque and you can see why people flock from all around the globe to come to the “entertainment capital of the world.”
Friday, December 2, 2011
Ringling Bros. - DRAGONS Winter Quarters Opening Day
Uploaded by ringlingbros on Nov 30, 2011
This past Sunday, November 27th, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey kicked off the first official day of Winter Quarters for the 142nd Edition. Check out this exclusive clip from the first day of rehearsals for DRAGONS and be on the lookout for more videos soon!
Uploaded by ringlingbros on Nov 29, 2011
On Thursday November 24th, elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast of their own consisting of a cornucopia of fresh fruits, vegetables and bread. We hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
A 140-year tradition that combines the classics -- extraordinary animal performances, captivating clown escapades and daring high-wire acts -- with contemporary surprises and thrills to make the circus-going experience memorably unique and a family tradition handed down from generation to generation With three independent units, Red, Blue and Gold, Ringling Bros. hosts millions of visitors and travels to more than 90 cities in North America each year.
The crew is working to repair the damage. It will also rearrange the usual layout of trailers and big rigs to surround the big top to block it from the expected return of high gusts this evening. The blue and gold tent itself is made to withstand winds up to 100mph, the spokeswoman said.
She added that Anne was going from ‘strength to strength’ at her new home in Longleat Safari Park, where a sanctuary is being built for her thanks to £400,000 raised by Daily Mail readers.
The presentations will be titled "When the Circus Comes to Town."
The events are open to the public. They are part of the Windows in Time lecture series sponsored by the libraries and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.
For more information on the series, call Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-6996 or 541-774-8689, or the Southern Oregon Historical Society at 541-899-8123.
COMMUNITY COMMENT: Ford Center a step in right direction to reclaiming Downtown
I really love the modern design of the arena, and could appreciate the functionality of features in it. The view of Downtown from the south-facing wall of windows is quite lovely, and looking out at the buildings made me think of what Downtown used to be and has the potential to be again.
Many have been displeased by the very idea of an arena to replace Roberts Stadium, but I have remained optimistic. My optimism increased when, despite dire predictions, we found street parking within two blocks of the arena; we also left our seats (within 10 rows of the Ford Center floor) and got out an exit door in only 10 minutes (with twin toddlers in tow). There is hope for our sad Downtown area.
Hope begins with our shiny new arena and other businesses taking the road less traveled to Evansville's Downtown. Our family makes an effort to patronize small businesses in the Downtown area. We have become well acquainted with the streets, the architecture and the lovely Riverfront. We would encourage everyone to do the same.
Why not dine Downtown and stroll comfortably back to your vehicle? Why not attend a Philharmonic performance or a ball game? Why not take your kids to CMOE on a rainy day? Why not revisit Evansville's history at the Reitz Home Museum?
Let's improve upon what we already have available. What about a comedy club? A jazz club? An arthouse theater? A daily market for downtowners' grocery needs? Why not more public parking garages and fewer empty parking lots? Why not more bistros and cafes and fewer chain restaurants? Why not Evansville?
By JIM GAINES From: www.macon.com
Operation of the Georgia State Fair will be sold to a Tennessee firm, and that means it may be back on schedule for 2012 instead of being canceled as previously announced.
Members of the Exchange Club of Macon, which has run the fair since 1942, voted almost unanimously to sell the fair for an undisclosed price, fair board President Don Johstono said Thursday.
“The club met as the Georgia State Fair Association this afternoon and decided to accept the offer of selling the fair to a company: Universal Fairs, out of Memphis, Tenn.,” Johstono said. “They are excited about the fair, and they are actually talking about making plans to have the fair in 2012, here in Central City Park.”
The Exchange Club voted narrowly in August not to hold a fair next year, due at least in part to several years of low income. Then Universal Fairs’ offer arrived, Johstono said, in late November.
Company President Mark Lovell was unavailable for comment Thursday, but in 2010 he wrote an e-mail regarding the firm’s (ultimately unsuccessful) bid to operate the Tennessee State Fair: “My company, Universal Fairs, is in the business of helping restore fairs and festivals to their original glory and to make them profitable.”Read more: http://www.macon.com/2011/12/02/1808237/georgia-state-fair-sold-to-memphis.html#ixzz1fNQlKFs4
Curry Roberts, president and chief executive officer of SFVA, said that 2011 was a good year for attendance at the fair, with crowds increasing by 32 percent from 2010.
Roberts noted that the organization is current with loan payments, and also mentioned that the State Fair of Virginia is one of just a few state fairs that operates independently of public funding. He said this move is intended to bring them back into finanical stability.
SFVA also operates the Strawberry Hill Races, founded in 1895, and the Meadow Highland Games & Celtic Festival, founded in 1995.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Surprisingly, there was never a dull moment.
Stand-alone showman Jamie Adkins gave himself his own drum roll during the Thanksgiving weekend in "Circus Incognitus," which showcased the range of his mind-boggling circus talents that included pantomime, stunning tricks, juggling and acrobatics.
In "Circus Incognitus," Adkins plays a clumsy character — a clown who is desperately trying to get his act together. Along the way, he stumbles and makes mistakes, but the audience loved it.
Behind their laughter lay a simple truth: No one wants to watch someone who is perfect. Audiences prefer characters who are flawed and quirky, and they thirst for the essence of an ordinary man and a performance that captures moments found in everyday life.
Adkins made the clumsy look easy. In a madness of organized chaos, he performed some astonishing tricks with such ease. But in reality, he was bluffing; the stumbling merely added to the suspense.
Angered by the news, the city refused to grant the circus the necessary permits for its performances, which were due to begin on December 20The first "religious-friendly" circus performances took place last year in Lod, under the title "Circus with a Skullcap," and according to impresario Doron Etzioni, they were a huge success. Therefore, when he brought in Medrano this year, he and the circus agreed that a few performances would similarly be in this format. This time, however, he decided the venue would be Givat Shmuel, the last city in which Medrano was due to appear on its Israel tour.
Etzioni said it never entered his head that performances aimed at the religious public would spark opposition, and especially not in a city with many religious residents. But that is what happened when the first advertisements for the show appeared two weeks ago.
Etzioni insisted the changes in the program were minor: An act by a scantily-clad female acrobat - the show's only female performer - was to have been replaced by a magician, and Spanish songs that included bad language were to have been replaced by Hebrew ones.
But Givat Shmuel Mayor Yossi Brodni, who confirmed to Haaretz that he ordered the show canceled, doesn't care how minor the changes are. He said he was angry that Etzioni failed to tell the city some of the performances had been adapted for a religious audience. "I was hurt. I felt deceived," he said. "I don't do business with people who deceive me, and I won't lend a hand to an event for a particular population group. I have no right to do such a thing." read more at:http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-city-bans-religious-friendly-italian-circus-1.398818
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
2011 WVU Marching Band Armed Forces Salute
Uploaded by wvuband on Nov 6, 2011
No celebration of our freedom can be complete without a tribute to the
brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to preserve and protect our country. The WVU Band presents our "Armed Forces Salute,"
which features a medley of the songs from all branches of our great military.
This selection will close with a stirring rendition of "America, The Beautiful."
• The United States Army!
• The United States Coast Guard!
• The United States Marines!
• The United States Air Force!
• The United States Navy!
No one can argue the great service that the men and women of the armed
services have provided to our nation over the centuries. By serving in two World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and in the war on Terror, as well as continually providing support and aid to those in need when all types of disasters strike, our American service men and women have made us all swell with pride.
Therefore, we pay honor to all the brave men and women who helped to
make, and continue to make this country, the greatest nation on earth!
Horrified staff found the mutilated corpse on Friday morning, Pine Rivers Press said.
"We are annoyed that someone would destroy something that is promoting a family event," said Goldstar Autos owner Brett Kennedy.
"The head and the leg were ripped off the clown," Mr Kennedy said.
"If it was just the leg he would get workers' compensations but he can't come along to work without a head.
"However he is on paid leave and he is really looking forward to coming back to work."
The motive for the attack is a mystery as Clown Five had no known enemies.
But his attackers might find they now have a powerful foe.
"He was a friendly clown, however he did have a dark side," Mr Kennedy said.
"I think he might be a clown that would turn into a ghost at night time."
Mr Kennedy was more worried about the impact on Clown Five's young fans.
"The kids loved seeing it and I'm worried seeing this could make them scared," he said.
"It's just not right."
The matter has been reported to police. Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.
The Great Moscow Circus has offered a substantial reward for the return of Clown Five's head, or information that leads to its recovery. Phone 3889 8516.www.heraldsun.com.au
Through the end of October, a report from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin states that 65,454 people visited Circus World.
That is up about 5 percent from the 62,515 visitors welcomed during the same period in 2010, CWM Executive Director Steve Freese said Monday.
Revenue generated by visitors was $875,420 through October 2011, up 19 percent from the total of $737,705 earned during the same period in 2010, he said.
"Despite the poor economy here in the state and nationwide, we're doing pretty well," Freese said.
Freese noted that part of the reason for the increase in attendance and rise in revenue are the promotional offers Circus World Museum has, in conjunction with Devil's Lake State Park and the area water parks in Wisconsin Dells.
"I've heard from campers (that) when the weather turns bad, they are looking for something to do inside," Freese said.
"I also know there is only so much you can do at the water parks, so parents will bring their children here and share a piece of Wisconsin history with them. We're family-friendly, and people are taking advantage of it."
And while folks are on the historic museum grounds, they are buying more food. Sales are up 23 percent. Sales in the museum gift shop have jumped 15 percent, according to the report.
Circus World is part of a system of sites operated by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. They include the H.H. Bennett Studio in Wisconsin Dells, Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien and Old World Wisconsin in Waukesha County.
The historic sites generally have done well despite the slow economy, said Steve Lightbourn, marketing manager with the Wisconsin Historical Society.
"We're happy, given the current economic picture, that the Circus World Museum is doing well," Lightbourn said. "Many of them are hitting their revenue numbers. We do provide excellent value to our visitors, and I think that plays a big role, too."
Freese said annual efforts to raise community support for Circus World have gone well this year.
He said the Circus of Chefs Gala in June brought in $209,000, about $60,000 more than its projected goal.
During the production last year of the circus-themed romance film "Water for Elephants," Freese said Circus World provided 15 circus wagons, historic photographs and other technical support. He said the museum received about $365,000 for its contribution to the movie.
Freese said the premiere of "Water for Elephants" in May at the Al. Ringling Theatre also provided a boost to Circus World.
"It was a pretty incredible night," he said. "We packed the grounds just before the movie and then the theater."
Freese said the museum owed about $1.1 million when he took the role of director in 2007. He said that included a half-million dollar line of credit, and money due to the Wisconsin Historical Society for the Irvin Feld Exhibit Hall.
He said the profits from the Great Milwaukee Circus Parade in 2009 helped to pay down the line of credit. With the help of state Sens. Dale Schulz, Luther Olsen and Fred Risser, Circus World was awarded a one-time grant from the Wisconsin State Building Commission to pay off the Feld building debt.
"Right now, the debt is just under $100,000," Freese said. "It's a lot easier to handle."
Some of the romantic image associated with burlesque is likely mere embellishment, but the underground feel that it evokes is definitely real. It's part of what drew burlesque performer Evelyn DeVere to the artform in the first place.
DeVere, founder of the Charleston fringe artist group Carnivalesque and its predecessor Ménage à Trois Burlesque, graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in theater and a concentration in costume design, which is both a passion and a day job. But she was bitten by that glittery burlesque bug when she was in high school. "I'd always been interested in vintage, especially the 1930s and '40s," she says. "I guess it started with my fascination with clothing and style ... then I became fascinated with that whole world." Her growing interest coincided with the tail end of a burlesque renaissance that began in the 1990s. Remember Dita Von Teese, known for her tiny waist and short marriage to Marilyn Manson? Aside from being the face of many girly vanity products, she's largely responsible for bringing "neo-burlesque" to the masses. read more: http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/carnivalesque-brings-dark-old-time-circus-style-to-charleston/Content?oid=3652234
Joseph Airdo, Phoenix Movie Examiner
November 29, 2011 -
Uploaded by OneLuckyElephant on May 4, 2010
“One Lucky Elephant” tells the story of how circus producer David Balding realizes his mistake in keeping an elephant alone for 17 years and tries to find her a permanent home with other pachyderms before his health fades. Balding acknowledges the search was more challenging than he had expected, as demonstrated in the documentary.
“There are no easy answers to all of the questions,” says Balding, who co-founded Circus Flora – named after his elephant – in 1985 and has been its artistic director since its inception. “They are not black and white. If you were to listen to circus owners or animal rights people, you would think that it was all so clear when it is not. The film carefully shows that so I am proud of it.”
Balding notes the the bottom line, so to speak, of “One Lucky Elephant” is that he loved Flora the elephant and Flora the elephant loved him. Having never had any children of his own, Balding has no doubt that Flora became his surrogate daughter to some degree – a belief that he shares in the movie.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Interview: Star David Balding (One Lucky Elephant) - Phoenix Movie Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/movie-in-phoenix/interview-star-david-balding-one-lucky-elephant#ixzz1fBjt0bwo
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Tickets for Ringling Bros.' "Dragons" show are $15-$94. The All Access pre-show is free to all ticketholders an hour before showtime.
Performances are at the BJCC Arena. Tickets will be on sale through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com. For group rates, call 1-888-305-9550.
Uploaded by AtlanticCityWeekly on Nov 28, 2011
Spirit of Christmas at the Tropicana Atlantic City - 11-17-11
The enjoyable holiday show Spirit Of Christmas is now onstage at the Tropicana, through Wednesday, Dec. 21. This New York style Christmas spectacular features glittering costumes, a dazzling cast, and the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole. Songs include "Santa Baby," "Winter Wonderland," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" and many more. Video Produced by Lew Steiner, publisher, Atlantic City Weekly.
RBB&B Bicycle Display 1983
Uploaded by nicbeery on Nov 28, 2011
Here is a bycycle display from the 113th edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, 1983. I see Bobby Hunt, Nic Beery, Sean Cash, Dan Looker, Kip Reynolds, Bob Lloyd and others with their crazy bikes!
VIENNA, Va. (AP) — VIENNA, Virginia (AP) — The owner of the Ringling Bros. circus has agreed to pay a $270,000 fine to settle allegations that it violated federal animal-welfare laws in its handling of elephants, tigers, zebras and other exotic animals.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the civil penalty announced Monday is the largest ever assessed against an animal exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act.
Vienna-based Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus and other well-known acts such as Disney on Ice, said it does not admit to violating the law and agreed to the settlement as a cost of doing business to resolve its differences with the USDA.
"We look forward to working with the USDA in a cooperative and transparent manner that meets our shared goal of ensuring that our animals are healthy and receive the highest quality care," said a statement released by Kenneth Feld, chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment.
In inspection reports from 2007 through this year, inspectors said circus handlers made elephants perform when they were ill and used the same wheelbarrows to feed meat to tigers and haul away their waste, among other allegations.
An inspection report from August alleged that a 35-year-old female Asian elephant, Banko, was forced to perform at a show in Los Angeles despite a diagnosis of sand colic and observations that she appeared to be suffering abdominal discomfort. Circus officials told the inspectors that separating Banko from the performing elephants would have been even more distressing to her.
The inspection reports also cited splintered floors and rusted cages used to contain big cats such as tigers, and an incident in March 2008 where two zebras briefly got loose from their enclosure at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore. In 2010, another zebra escaped its enclosures in Atlanta and had to be captured by area law enforcement, according to the reports.
Feld spokesman Steve Payne said that, generally, the circus has seen an increase in recent years in inspections not only by the USDA but also by state and local regulators. He said that from June to September, one of the circus' traveling units was inspected 82 times by 18 different agencies.
"We're highly regulated. We accept that regulation. We embrace it," Payne said.
Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has filed numerous complaints with USDA against the circus, especially for its handling of elephants, said the fine is a good first step. But it called on the government to confiscate the elephants.
"What remains to be done is for the public to be made aware of this history of abuse so that people will know to keep their children away from the circus," PETA said.
As part of the settlement, Ringling also agreed to hire a compliance officer who will ensure that all employees follow the rules outlined in the Animal Welfare Act. All employees who handle animals will also have to undergo compliance training.