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Banning wild animals in circuses

“Elephants are very intelligent, sensitive animals.”

The irony of this statement by the owner of the circus Mr Courtney will not be lost on anyone who regards the captivity of these magnificent animals for entertainment as unacceptable and cruel (Examiner, Apr 2). Numerous studies by animal behaviourists testify that elephants belong in the wild, they exist in family units, caring and nurturing each other, and film footage has shown them mourning the death of elephants in their pack.

Being confined to trailers and spending endless hours travelling from site to site, it is no wonder they exhibit classic syndromes of stress, which may have resulted in the serious injury to Justino Munez at the park in Blackpool on Saturday. Earlier in the week one of the elephants was totally disorientated in a shopping centre and could have got onto the main road.

We should follow the enlightened and compassionate stance taken by our English neighbours and ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

Steven O’Leary

Jacob’s Island

Blackrock

Cork

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