Zoo admits connection with circus
Monday, 19 October 2009
A zoo in North Somerset has admitted many of its animals are on loan from the owner of a controversial circus.
Noah’s Ark Zoo near Bristol has been breeding tigers and camels for the owner of the Great British Circus.
It has been keeping the arrangement secret from visitors and from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
BIAZA, a professional group which represents zoos, said it would investigate the allegations.
The Great British Circus is the only UK circus that still uses tigers in its shows.
One of the Noah’s Ark tigers is used on a Great British Circus promotional DVD and is seen performing tricks during a training session in the circus ring.
The circus insists none of the tigers at Noah’s Ark have actually taken part in performances.
Acting on a tip off the animal campaign group, the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), filmed secret footage at Noah’s Ark.
It revealed that some of the staff at the zoo were unhappy about the links with the circus.
The undercover researcher, working for CAPS, also discovered the zoo had buried a tiger carcass on its land instead of sending it off for incineration as the law demands.
Anthony Bush, the owner of Noah’s Ark, said he has since dug the tiger up and corrected his mistake.
The investigation into Noah’s Ark’s links with the circus can be seen on the BBC’s regional current affairs series Inside Out West at 1930 BST on BBC One (West) on 19 October 2009.