in a small cage car from a Spanish circus.
Exploited for entertainment
Who hasn’t seen the images: lions jumping through hoops in a circus, a tiger ‘acting’ in a movie, a dressed-up Barbary macaque that has to have his picture taken with tourists…
At AAP we take in many animals that have been exploited to entertain people, such as the badly neglected circus lion Govani. He was malnourished, covered in wounds and had even bitten off a piece of his own tail due to stress. AAP is committed to combating this kind of animal suffering and is fighting for a European ban on wild animals in circuses.
The circus is still a common form of entertainment in Europe. Still thousands of wild animals, such as monkeys, tigers and lions, are forced to perform and entertain people.
This may look innocent to the public, but the animals do not exhibit this unnatural behavior lightly: it is often preceded by cruel training methods.
Before and after the shows, the animals are often locked up for long periods (alone) in cramped circus trailers, in which they are also transported when the circus travels to a new place.
In our rescue centers we see what this life as an “entertainer” does to an animal: the vast majority of tigers, lions and monkeys from circuses have health problems, behavioral problems and / or have been neglected. They are, for example, scrawny, lick themselves excessively, have deformed bones or pulled out claws and teeth.
It would also be much better for public safety to ban wild animals in circuses, because accidents happen regularly. For example, from 1997 to 2021, there have been 478 incidents involving 889 wild circus animals. Examples include elephants falling on the audience stand, tigers attacking their trainer, or accidents on the highway after which wild animals roam loose.
AAP is working hard for a European ban on wild animals in circuses. Partly thanks to AAP’s efforts, the Netherlands already has a ban on exotic mammals in circuses since 2015. Also a good number of other EU countries, thanks in part to the pressure of AAP and other animal welfare organizations, have already imposed a (partial) ban.
Time for a ban
Of the three, Govani was in the worst shape. Not only was he extremely thin, but his claws had been pulled out, his teeth knocked out and from all the stress he had bitten off a piece of his own tail.
At AAP he was able to recover and now Govani walks and runs like a real lion again!