Jon Kalahar, Report
Columbus, GA – The Shrine Circus is wrapping up a busy weekend. The fourth and final show is happening as we speak. Over ten thousand spectators attended the two day event…but a few local residents are just happy the circus will be leaving.
Protesters believe the circus is cruel to animals and should be animal free. As for circus management, they say these protesters don’t know what they’re talking about.
Just ask any one of the several hundred children streaming into the civic center for the Shrine Circus what their favorite part is and you get a quick response.
“Seeing the zebras.” said Yasmeen Minniefield, circus spectator.
“Seeing the elephants.” said Whitney Carter, circus spectator.
Being so close you could almost touch one of the giant elephants or snarling tigers leaves many wide eyed with wonder. But for some residents the circus means cruelty to animals.
“They’re put in cages all they’re lives an it’s just wrong.” said Doug Moyerman, circus protester.
Doug Moyerman is a senior at Brookstone High School. This is his second year to protest in front of the Shrine Circus.
“As long as we have people out her showing that we care and how we want to give a voice to these animals who are suffering and tortured, I think we’re making a difference.” said Moyerman.
We decided to check it out for ourselves. And while we found the tigers in cages, they didn’t look to be sickly or even tortured. The elephants were mostly out in the open. Plus, this one found our camera pretty interesting.
“They have shaded areas, water, the trainers are there, they play with the animals. There’s nothing to hide here. Everyone’s welcome to come see it.” said Serge Coronas, Jr., circus management.
Serge Coronas and his family have brought the circus to Columbus for the last twenty two years. He says without the animals there shouldn’t be a circus.
“If everyone wants to keep protesting an try and stop animals in the show which everybody’s trying hard to an then the circus entertainment is gone, shat is left.” said Coronas.
We were shown licenses and veterinarian records for the elephants and everything seemed to be current and up to date.
And we would to totally remiss if we didn’t mention how much money this circus raises for the local shriners’ organization.
The Shrine Circus is expected to raise close to twenty five thousand dollars. And of course that goes to help children who are burn victims or that have disabilities.