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Animal Circuses News

Find below local Australian news and other circus related stories. These stories are sourced from external newspapers, government websites, and other third parties. All care is taken to ensure the accuracy. Please refer to the source (listed with each story) for further information.

  • Trainer worked with Arna three years
  • Heart complaint did not contribute to death
  • Injuries from 'severe blunt trauma'
ARNA the circus elephant is a killer with forensic evidence showing she crushed a worker to death.
Ray Williams had spent up to three years feeding and watering the Asian elephant, which has become synonymous with her owner the Stardust Circus.

An interim post-mortem examination report has revealed the 57-year-old's previous heart complaint did not contribute to his death at Yamba, on the North Coast, last week. Instead, it found Mr Williams' injuries - a broken back and a ruptured aorta - were the result of a "severe blunt trauma". "The cause of death was a direct result of the elephant," the report states.

That result has drawn renewed attention from NSW Animal Liberation, which has promised to fight to have the four-tonne Arna removed from the circus and placed in the Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo.

The group fought a protracted battle with the circus owners about seven years ago before allegations of animal cruelty were dismissed. Mr Williams' death had been complicated by the possibility he suffered a cardiac arrest with Arna possibly trying to nudge him after the event. The pensioner had suffered a heart attack three weeks before the incident and had been taken to Lismore Base Hospital. He died while he was in the elephant's enclosure not long after the circus had begun to set up in Yamba. Police would only confirm the post mortem examination results would be passed to the coroner, along with the results of the police investigation.

That investigation, along with one by NSW WorkCover, could determine Arna's future at the circus. She and her partner Gigi were not used in the acts the night after the accident. A spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries, which controls the circus's licence to keep exotic animals, said there was nothing restraining the circus from using the elephants at the moment.

Circus owner Jan Lennon told The Daily Telegraph last week that a possibility had remained that Arna had lashed out. "If Ray was to go crook on Gigi she would get a bit upset," Ms Lennon said. "Elephants are funny animals. They can take a dislike to someone, which can happen, but 99 per cent of people she loves."

Animal Liberation spokesman Mark Pearson said it had been proven before that elephants that killed once, frequently killed again. Ashtons Circus elephant Abu killed three workers in 1974, 1983 and again in 1987. His partner at the time had been Gigi who was later bought by Stardust Circus. "Now that Arna has had a taste of it - and if her situation is not changed - then the public is at risk," Mr Pearson said. "To put Arna before people, including children, would be irresponsible." Animal Liberation will lobby the Department of Primary Industries to revoke the circus licence.




PETA exposes Ringling Bros Cruelty

Thanks to PETA's ongoing campaign against documented appalling abuse of elephants in Ringling Bros Circus - 'the saddest show on earth' as PETA rightly calls it - the largest circus in the US has been compelled to answer charges for routinely beating elephants with bullhooks. (PETA has videotaped lame elephants limping out of Ringling's train cars.)
Source:
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Bolivia first country in the world to ban wild and domestic animals from travelling circuses

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is delighted that Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has signed a new law to end the use of wild and domestic animals in travelling circuses.
Source: Animal Defenders website
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Time to end this exotic circus farce

A LION sits looking forlorn in a cage while its companions pace up and down, menaced by dogs teasing them outside their enclosure.
Source: Daily Telegraph
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Ipswich City Council Bans Circuses with Exotic Animals

Local councillor Paul Tully said the council had voted 6:5 to support a ban, making Ipswich the first council in Queensland to outlaw circuses with exotic animals.
Source: Animals Australia
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Lismore Council cracks the whip on circuses

Lismore City Council will send a clear message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated in the shire after they voted 6/3 to ban animal circuses from Council-owned land.
Source: The Northern Rivers Echo
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Circus elephant in the middle of jumbo row

A jumbo-sized dispute has broken out over the living conditions of New Zealand's only circus elephant.
Source: stuff.co.nz
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Driver dies as bus hits escaped circus elephant

A BUS has crashed into an escaped circus elephant on a highway in Mexico, killing both the vehicle's driver and the unfortunate animal.
Source: news.com.au
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60 Minutes - The Sanctuary

They're remarkable creatures. Social, intelligent, at times, very human. And just like humans, elephants experience many complex emotions. Which makes our heartless treatment of these beautiful animals all the more confounding. Hunting them to extinction, forcing them to perform in circuses, locking them up in zoos.
Source: 60 Minutes
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Protestors urge city council to ban circus

AN animal welfare group have urged Derry City Council to consider banning animal circuses from performing in the city.
Source: Londonderry Sentinel
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Auckland City Council applauded for Rodeo Ban

Rodeos are no longer welcome in New Zealand’s largest city.
Source: Animal Circuses
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Music Video made about Topsy the Elephant who was purposely electrocuted to death

Award winning Australian animator makes a music video about the tragic story of Topsy The Circus Elephant who was deliberately electrocuted in 1903.
Source: email
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Elephant, camels freed with Jaws of Life

What animals have to endure for our entertainment: Three circus animals had to be rescued by volunteer firefighters after the transport truck carrying them overturned.
Source: CTV.ca
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Circus Lawsuit Moves Forward

Animal activists have a new reason to complain about how the circus treats its elephants and other animals. A federal judge says the animal groups can now move forward with a blockbuster lawsuit. Click here to hear an interview
Source: George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter
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CAMDEN Circuses face exotic animal ban

CAMDEN Deputy Mayor Cindy Cagney will ask the council to seek a report on banning from the area circuses using wild and exotic animals.
Source: Macarthur Chronicle
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ADI: Peru set to lead South America with animal circus ban

A year after launching a devastating exposé of the treatment of animals in circuses in South America, Animal Defenders International (ADI) stands on the brink of securing legislation to end this shocking abuse in Peru and Bolivia.
Source: Politics.co.uk
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Elephant kills three in India temple rampage

A WOMAN was among three people killed as an elephant ran amok at a temple.
Source: Daily Telegraph
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Circus Whitewash

The British government's failure to end cruelty to circus animals makes a mockery of the Animal Welfare Act
Source: The Guardian
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ASPCA demands cancellation of TV’S Greatest Show on Earth

The ASPCA has urged Turner Network Television (TNT) to immediately cancel Greatest Show on Earth, its upcoming series that touts a “behind-the-scenes” look at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Source: ASPCA www.aspca.org
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Stardust Circus Trainer killed by elephant

Forensic evidence shows that Arna the Circus Elephant crushed a worker to death.
Source: news.com.au (Daily Telegraph)
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Cork City Council against Animal Circuses

Cork City Council passes a motion to BAN animal act circuses from using council land
Source: Animal Rights Action Network (www.aran.ie)
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ARNA and Gigi to be retired to Western Plains Zoo

Arna and Gigi are leaving Stardust Circus and living out the rest of their lives in peace at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Source: www.zoo.nsw.gov.au (Taronga Zoo)
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No Ban for Port Stephens

Port Stephens Council voted 4-7 against the ban on circuses with exotic animals.
Source: Port Stephens Examiner
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Animal Circus Ban in Fingal

Fingal County Council supports the ban of circuses which use wild animals
Source: Independent.ie National News
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Lion Tamer Mauled

THREE lions attacked their trainer in front of a packed family audience at a Lennon Bros Circus show at Penrith
Source: Rod Smith, www.news.com.au, circuswatchwa.org
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