Plymouth town officials saw through circus act, should be commended

A female Asian elephant with the Cole Bros. Circus last month in New Jersey.
Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff
A female Asian elephant with the Cole Bros. Circus last month in New Jersey.

The Plymouth town government is to be commended for voting to ban the use of wild animals in performances and for seeing through the misinformation spread by circuses to justify this archaic and inhumane practice.

“Circus coming to town, but it’ll be a curtain call,” June 5, provided an excellent example of such misinformation. The Cole Bros. Circus claims that its performing elephants come from a “sanctuary.” The elephants may come from this facility, but it is not a sanctuary. A bona fide sanctuary would never rent out its animals or allow them to be used for entertainment.

The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) operates an accredited sanctuary in California where we care for 11 Asian and African elephants who came from circuses and zoos. The elephants roam a spacious natural habitat where they can just be elephants — as opposed to the cramped, unnatural conditions elephants endure in circuses, where they are chained and coerced into performing inane tricks.


Circuses still rely on the old adage, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Fortunately, the public and progressive politicians are catching on and putting a stop to the outdated and indefensible practice of using wild animals — many of them endangered species — to perform for “entertainment.”

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Catherine Doyle

Director of Science, Research & Advocacy

Performing Animal Welfare Society — PAWS

San Andreas, Calif.