BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Many protesters plan to be in full force this weekend as Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus perform in Bakersfield.
The group says its unhappy with how animals are being treated in programs aimed at entertaining the public.
Thousands of people are expected to fill Robobank Arena and members of the Bakersfield Alliance for Animals will be right there, in front of the building greeting visitors with their message.
“These animals don’t have a voice. We’re their voice so, that’s why we’re out here to educate and stick up for them,” said Julia Davis with the organization.
Advocates say animals used in venues such as a circus, a rodeo or even factor farms are being treated poorly.
“There are made to do unnatural acts that they would never do in the wild. They are made to be in cages for most of their lives, to be on chains for most of their lives, its just very unnatural,” she said.
Leaders with the group don’t want circuses to end, but prefer animals taken out of the show so that only humans are doing the entertaining.
“They do have a point to a certain limit, but sometimes animals might get treated bad, but I’m pretty sure they take care of the animals very well and they handle them with care and there shouldn’t be any problems with the circus,” said Luis Perez, who doesn’t believe the animals aren’t being mistreated.
Tammy Bozarth is among the many people waiting in line to see the horses and tigers and elephants. She believes no harm is done on any circus animal.
“There are bad apples out there, but you can’t judge them all by specific instincts so, I don’t believe and I’ve seen this particular circus come year and year and I don’t believe they are mistreated,” she said.
Visiting the circus in Bakersfield has become a family tradition and a show without any animals some say is not the same.
“It takes a lot of training and a lot care for those animals. Believe me, they are performers. They are athletes and in order for them to perform the way they do, believe me, they are care for,” she said.
Circus officials are aware of the protesters and they are being allowed at the venue as long as they don’t block any of the entrances.