Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Stop Circus Suffering Billboards Urge Bakersfield Residents to Shun Animal Circuses

Posted: 11 August 2014

August 11, 2014, BAKERSFIELD, CA – Animal Defenders International (ADI) is calling on the local community to stay away from circuses with wild animals with six new billboards that went up today around Bakersfield. The bold message “Stop Circus Suffering” appears with three images from ADI’s investigations of a circus lion and tiger in tiny, barren cages and an elephant being viciously struck with a bullhook. The billboards are timed to coincide with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to Bakersfield September 4-7.

Studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that circuses cannot meet the physical or behavioral needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, spending excessive amounts of time chained, caged and shut in trailers or train cars. These animals are often seen behaving abnormally; rocking, swaying and pacing, all indicating that they are in distress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence has shown how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.

ADI’s billboards were made possible by the generous donation of a young supporter, Sean Esla, who used his childhood savings to pay for the billboards at various Bakersfield locations throughout the month of August, showing residents the abuse that circus animals suffer.

Sean Esla: “I know there are lots of kids like me who love elephants, lions, and tigers, but they just don’t know how badly they are treated at the circus. I hope when they see these pictures, they will want to learn more and help the animals by going to animal free circuses.”

For a photo opportunity, the billboards can be found on Union Ave, 50 feet North of Grove; on Oak Street, 400 feet North of California; on Bernard St. at River Blvd.; on Chester, 50 feet North of 77th St.; and on Chester, 650 feet North of Columbus.

“Most people are compassionate and would never knowingly support the abuse of animals,” said Jan Creamer, ADI President.“But many are unaware of the hidden cruelty, for just a few minutes of entertainment. ADI’s new billboard campaign aims to lift the curtain and tell ordinary Americans the truth. Like many others, we believe they will walk away from these shows.”

© Animal Defenders International 2019