The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus begins a four-day run at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego Thursday night.
The circus is on a two-year tour of a mythology-based show "Dragons!" The show presents “dragon tribes from the far reaches of the Earth” performing in a ”circus tournament of champions,” according to the Ringling Bros. website. It also features clowns, acrobats, lions and elephants.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to stage a demonstration in downtown San Diego at noon to protest what it alleges is the mistreatment of circus elephants, which the group believes should not perform.
PETA, which has targeted Ringling Bros. for years, claims circus animal handlers stretch out young elephants during training, slam them to the ground, gouge them with steel-tipped bull hooks and shock them with electric prods.
The circus denies the allegations and allows show-goers to visit the elephants and other animals 90 minutes before shows.
– City News Service