Molly Waters: Shame on circus, paper


Related story

May 13, 2012: Circus coming to Steamboat Springs

After watching an Internet video reportedly showing animal handlers from the Carson & Barnes Circus abusing elephants, I decided to dig a little deeper into their practices. I didn’t find one or two problems but six pages of violations documenting how this circus has failed to meet minimal federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition. Starting in 1982 when five elephants tried to escape from the circus in Oklahoma (one elephant was killed during this incident) to December 2011 when they were cited for failure to protect elephants from injury, it was clear that this was a company that has had little to no regard for public safety or animal welfare.

Then I looked into the Endangered Ark Foundation, which they claim will receive proceeds from tonight’s show. The foundation is owned and operated by Carson & Barnes Circus. It calls itself an elephant breeding facility and appears to have been created in part to maintain elephants for use in their circuses.

The fact that the Steamboat Today did not report on any of the numerous violations, the documented animal abuses or the circus’s ties to its own Endangered Ark Foundation charity is a disservice to our community. I ask the newspaper to please do your research before you provide free front-page advertising to groups like this.

Molly Waters

Steamboat Springs


Lura Gerhart 5 years ago

Good work, Molly. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I've never understood the concept of circuses, anyway. I hope they go away.


Joan Remy 5 years ago

I read the above article by Molly Waters and then went online to investigate Carson and Barnes Circus, since I had planned on attending the Circus this evening. I was appalled at the video showing the handlers poking the elephants with an electric prod and other sharp sticks to get them to do what they wanted and telling his assistant to make them hurt. It broke my heart to hear those elephants screaming. I then went to the Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website regarding Carson & Barnes Circus. Yes, there are 6 pages of violations from 1982 until December 2011. I called Peta and spoke with someone and asked why a circus isn't shut down with so many violations. She explained that they are fined and given warnings but it is difficult legally to shut them down unless the USDA makes that decision. She said its all about money and if a lot of people just stop going because of this abuse, that will make a statement. Of course, I will not attend the Carson & Barnes Circus this evening.


jerry carlton 5 years ago

Not going to the Circus. Know what PETA stands for? People Eating Tasty Animals!


jerry carlton 5 years ago

I saw that on a guys T shirt last summer at the rodeo. At first all I saw was PETA and I am thinking "Whats this guy doing here?". Then I read the smaller print and almost fell off my seat laughing.


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