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Do You Want the Circus to Come Back to Greenport?

Readers react negatively to the Cole Bros. Circus coming to the village this week.

After a was posted on North Fork Patch, several readers commented on how they thought the circus promoted the abuse of animals, some citing recent violations for animal cruelty issued against Cole Bros.

Last summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed charges against the Cole Bros. Circus in regards to the safety and psychological state of two elephants, Tina and Jewell, after members of animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed complaints with the USDA. The charges alleged that the circus failed to provide adequate veterinary care to a malnourished elephant, employed handlers who lacked training and repeatedly hit the elephants with an ankus, or elephant hook, during rides and performances.

And, according to a report from the Sag Harbor Express, protestors made their anti-circus views heard when the Cole Bros. set up at the Shinnecock Reservation this week.sponsors the annual North Fork visit from the circus, but a fire department official was not immediately available to comment.

Here are some of the remarks from readers this week regarding the circus. Feel free to chime in the boxes below. 

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“I wish a circus that didn't involve animals (except perhaps dogs, that enjoy performing) was here instead. It is so sad for the elephants especially.” — 

“Abuse is NOT entertainment- but it seem as it is to some.............. poor baby elephants!!! Baby Hugo- only a little over a year old and Vals baby brother.... is the newest addition to Cole Brothers - and touted as the youngest performing elephant. Performing means TRAINING!! And you MUST see how these animals are trained. It is NOT through kindness. So so sad! I hope people watch the video above and realize what is going on. I wonder why the people of Greenport allows this in their community???” — 

"This is horrible that this website is promoting animal torture to give 20 minutes of "cute" tricks to the kids. They should see the abuse and horrible mistreatment of these intelligent animals. This is the slave trade of the animal world and we are allowing it but acting as if nothing is wrong. This publication should be ashamed of itself fro not promoting the truth. This circus has received numerous violations for animal cruelty. Nice going Patch!" — 

Frank L July 30, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Circus animals are the most inspected, looked after animals in the world!! Just as some people shpould NOT have animals, some people should NOT have children but we do not outlaw everyone having children...find a better cause that helps humans or animals that are truly in need!
Cj Ellie July 30, 2012 at 05:32 PM
If you beat children or animals then you should not be allowed to have either one. The circus industry clearly uses violence to control their wild animals. The USDA/APHIS has a total of 104 Inspectors who are responsible for inspecting over 6000 animal licenses a year. Do the math it is easy to see that the circus industry isn’t inspected enough. Once upon a time slavery, child labor, racism, and beating your spouse was OK, now we know that it was not OK, just like it is not OK to continue to ignore this animal abuse.
cyn f August 02, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Exotic animals should be left in the wild. Period. Animals should not be used as entertainment for humans. If you want to see elephants and tigers go on safari on Africa. Just like humans should not be used against their will neither should creatures that inhabit the earth with us.
J.Giordano August 06, 2012 at 03:20 PM
We would love to have the circus back in Greenport. We have been going for years and totally enjoyed the show. We have been able to walk the show grounds freely and observed the animals up close. During our many visits observations have turned up no animal abuse. In fact we have watched as the animals have been fed, watered, and groomed. We are confident the animals receive 24/7 care. They have all they need and more.
Cj Ellie August 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Cole Bros Circus has a long and documented USDA record for lack of humane care of their animal performers. When you saw the elephants swaying their bodies and trunk in a rhythmic manner they were not dancing. When you saw the tigers pacing in the small cages they live in, this is abnormal behavior never seen in animals in the wild. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw7UtgajIOM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAzDurdkDYA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoTG-4wQ5uc In March 2012 the USDA filed formal charges against Cole Bros Circus for these violations: • Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to an underweight elephant with a prominent spine and sunken body image • Failure to have records for vet exams and tuberculosis tests • Failure to handle an elephant in a way that minimizes the risk of harm to the public and the elephant • Failure to employ personnel capable of caring for elephants • Failure to house elephants at a facility that could provide for their needs • Failure to follow recommendations of an elephant specialist—a willful violation • Failure to store medications properly • Transporting elephants to another person who was not equipped to care for them against the recommendation of an elephant specialist • Inadequate enclosures • Handlers who lacked training and knowledge and weren't regularly on site

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