THE PAVILIONS PHUKET EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Animals still a draw, despite shrinking crowds, says Chinese circus

CHINA: A crowd of just 10 people watched the endangered Siberian tiger roar on command on his hind legs and pounce through hoops inside the big top of the Chinese Prosperous Nation Circus Troupe.

animalsculturehealthChinese
By AFP

Saturday 14 July 2018, 04:00PM


A caged Siberian tiger at the Chinese Circus. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP

A caged Siberian tiger at the Chinese Circus. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP

Lions and a young bear with a wound on its snout followed, performing tricks for the few who braved the sweltering heat in southern Guangdong province to help keep the traveling circus going for another day.

The use of wild animals in circus shows has come under growing criticism around the world, with some countries banning the practice, but for the Chinese troupe, the beasts are considered a major attraction.

“Many Chinese live in big cities where it’s hard to get out into the wilderness. We bring nature to them,” Li Weisheng, the troup’s manager, said.

Circuses have a long history in China. Called “maxi”, pronounced “mah-shi” meaning “stunts on a horse”, they have a history going back more than 2,500 years and would often pair acrobatic performances with stunts on galloping horses. The use of large cats, monkeys and bears is a more recent practice.

China has some of the world’s laxest animal rights laws, and campaigners have long called for tougher regulations on the treatment of animals in traveling circuses.

The two owners of the troupe, Li Rongrong and Li Ruisheng, were arrested in 2016 for illegally transporting rare and endangered animals and sentenced to 10 and eight years in prison, respectively, but were cleared of all charges at a second trial last year.

The troupe’s animals – two African lions, a two-year-old black bear, a pack of dogs and the tiger – spend most of their time in tiny metal cages under a big tent.

QSI International School Phuket

The animals are a major draw, Li, the manager, said, standing next to the red and white striped tent in the city of Dongguan, although he admitted attendance has dropped in recent years.

The tiger and a lioness with a cut tail, both about a year old, share one cage, in which they restlessly pace around each other. A few times a day, they are allowed to play in the circus ring.

The lone bear grasped the top bars of his cage and swung his body back and forth.

In the past few years, multiple videos have emerged of apparent animal abuse in China, such as a circus tying down a Siberian tiger for audience members to sit on for photos, which sparked widespread outrage.

Chinese people are increasingly calling for better protection for captive animals.

The members of the Chinese Prosperous Nation Circus Troupe, however, say they will do what they have to to keep their tradition alive and insist they are working in the interests both of the public and the animals.

“We are helping the public learn more about nature and animals,” said Li.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
An atrocious start to ‘low’ season

It is so gratifying to read these game fish are released back into the ocean where they belong, it s...(Read More)


GoAir to launch India’s first direct Phuket flights

One can die in a similar manner, no matter which country you care to visit. Why the need to Google ...(Read More)


Kata Rocks ends the use of plastic straws

Don't you understand the article?...(Read More)


Satree Phuket students injured in highway van accident

How do you know it was the fault of the driver/s? Crystal ball?...(Read More)


Police arrest three drug suspects on the same Phuket Town street

Don't you read of the massive amounts of drugs being seized? ...(Read More)


Satree Phuket students injured in highway van accident

Another nonsense head to head accident involving 2 thai drivers. Where they fit for for driving, hav...(Read More)


Kata Rocks ends the use of plastic straws

Why the whole of Phuket not ends the use of plastic straws and styrofoam food boxes by Government o...(Read More)


Phuket police transferred amid extrajudicial killing probe

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Son nam na....(Read More)


Final preparations being made to raise ’Phoenix’

Has the Phoenix by now lifted or not? If not, why not?...(Read More)


GoAir to launch India’s first direct Phuket flights

Just what exactly should tourists be "googling"...? The fact that Thailand is the best pla...(Read More)


 

Melbourne Cup 2018