Circus animals are banned in countless countries across the globe, but in others, circus fans are adamant that circus is not circus without animals. These two articles take a fresh look at the circus animal debate, considering how animals should be used (or not be used) as circuses adapt during the coronavirus epidemic. The case in question? Jozsef Richter’s Safari Park in Szada, Hungary.
Roll up, Roll up: Hungarian Circus Beats Virus by Becoming Safari Park
Like many business owners, Jozsef Richter has had to shut his circus during Hungary’s lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, but he has found another way of entertaining visitors while respecting social distancing rules.
People can now see around 100 circus animals from the comfort of their own cars in his Szada Safari Park, which opened its gates on Wednesday. The five-acre park is a short drive east of Budapest.
The animals include camels, elephants, giraffes and even two “zonkeys” – a cross between a circus zebra and a donkey.
“I have long dreamed of creating such a park but it would have been very hard to operate it alongside the circus,” Richter said. “Now… we have had to close for several months so I thought this would be the time…”
Read the Full Article at WHTC
Should Wild Animals Still be Used for Entertainment at the Circus?
The Hungarian National Circus has transformed into a five-acre safari park in order to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The circus is home to 100 animals who usually perform on stage to an audience. But since the global health crisis began, it has suffered as social distancing measures mean shows have been cancelled altogether. Instead of having to shut their doors completely, the circus has now become a safari park in Szada, on the eastern edge of Pest County in Hungary. The park is allowing people to come and see the animals from the comfort of their own cars.
After closing down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the new safari experience is helping the circus to survive by continuing to entertain visitors from a distance. Hungary has a long tradition of circus arts, with Budapest hosting an International Circus Festival every two years. The Hungarian National Circus was given an award last year which recognizes those who follow best practice. A high level of animal welfare is included in the criteria used to judge the award alongside requirements for proper staff training.
Some animal rights groups, however, believe that even with assurances of high welfare, the use of animals in performances is damaging to their wellbeing. They say the pandemic could offer an opportunity for circuses to transition away from shows involving animals…
Read the Full Article at Euro News