Elephants in circuses: Analysis of practice, policy, and future


The effect of penning versus picketing on stereotypic behavior of circus elephants

The behavior of nine female Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants who performed two shows each day with a circus that traveled to a new location (40 to 250 km from the previous day’s lot) daily or every two days was studied during the 1996 and 1998 seasons. When not performing or working, the elephants were picketed […]

Stereotypic behavior of circus tigers: Effects of performance

Little is knownabout the effects of performances on the behavior of animals used for entertainment in circuses. The objective of the study was to determine how one or three performances per day influenced the frequency of stereotypic behavior performed by circus tigers (n = 4) in their home cage, shortly before and after performances and […]

Are wild animals suited to a travelling circus life?

A comprehensive synopsis of the welfare of captive, wild (ie non-domesticated) animals in travelling circuses is missing. We examined circus animal welfare and, specifically, behaviour, health, living and travelling conditions. We compared the conditions of non-domesticated animals in circuses with their counterparts kept in zoos. Data on circus animals were very scarce; where data were […]

Circus and zoo animal welfare in Sweden: an epidemiological analysis of data from regulatory inspections by the official competent authorities

Good animal welfare is crucial for the success of circuses and zoos. Epidemiological studies of animal welfare that investigate associations between animal-based measures (ABMs) and resource- and management-based measures are needed. However, due to the relatively low numbers of animals within each species kept at individual facilities, such investigations can be difficult to carry out. […]