Big cats charm fans at circus

Xolisa Phillip

THE yawning, bored-looking lions and tigers that open the show at Port Elizabeth’s latest Big Top attraction appear completely unaware of the furore they have sparked in Port Elizabeth.

 

As the big cats plod from one chair to another and stare lazily out at the audience, it is hard to believe that the expense of maintaining their presence at McLaren’s circus is worth all the negative publicity they attract.

But while their performance is hardly remarkable, McLaren spokesman Arnold Dickson says these felines are an integral part of the show and are here to stay.

On Saturday, nearly 70 people took part in a silent protest outside the circus tent.

Protest co-organiser Taryn Coates, 28, said: “We don’t think animals belong in any kind of captivity, whether it is an oceanarium or a zoo. It is unnatural for an animal to be couped up and to perform tricks.”

 

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