Florida fair season starts, exotic animals displayed

November 4th, 2006

November through January are popular months for local fairs in Florida. Although the crowds, rides, cotton candy and funnel cake can be enjoyable, fairs almost always include cruel oddities like tigers in cages, men wrestling alligators or organ grinder monkeys.

The Space Coast State Fair began this week in Cocoa (Brevard County). The “entertainment” includes…an “educational” exhibit by Thunderhawk Big Cat Rescue…

This week also marks the beginning of the Volusia County Fair and Youth Show in Deland. The fair features Marcan Tigers (Mr. Marcan is a former circus trainer), Kachunga and the Alligator show, and The Amazing Rain Forest Experience, which features an odd menagerie of animals including ring-tailed lemurs, Bengal tigers, cougars and an arctic fox (animals that aren’t found on the same continent as each other, and many don’t even live in rainforests).

These shows are billed as educational, but watching an animal in a cage perform unnatural behaviors does nothing to encourage respect for animals or preservation of these animals natural habitats.

If you attend a fair this year and see an exploitive animal show, please tell the fair management that you’d prefer not to see these acts in the future. A quick phone call, e-mail or letter can make a big difference!

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