(KCBS) – The circus has come to town in San Jose, and with it comes animal rights activists letting people know why they think the era of circuses needs to come to an end.

As thousands streamed in to HP Pavilion Wednesday to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey FUNundrum! Show, dozens of leafleting animal rights activists turned out as well.

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”We’re out here to inform people about how Ringling treats the animals, specifically the elephants,” said one animal rights activist who had followed the circus all over Northern California. “The elephants can’t do anything that they’re biologically evolved to do, so they just basically go crazy.”

The Director of Animal Stewardship with Ringling Bros., Janice Aria says that what the activists are saying is untrue.

”They are very disruptive,” said Aria. “We would have an animal open house here in San Jose, as we always have, had not their activities become really invasive to our patrons.”

She says the Ringling Bros. Center for Animal Conservation in Florida encourages research, retirement, and reproduction, and it’s where the first elephant created with the help of artificial insemination was born. His name is Barack, and he was born the night before the presidential inauguration. He’s a feature in the show, which runs Thursday through Sunday.


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