And just where have you been?

I finally saw Yum-Yum this morning. His fur is getting darker so either I’m feeding him too much (he’s getting fatter and so the body heat that keeps him white is having trouble getting to his fur), he’s been in a really warm place the last few days or been inside. No clue where that would be.

Adult Siamese darken as the age. They also darken because of various temperature changes in their environment. For example a cat kept outdoors will usually be darker then a cat kept indoors. Every point color darkens with age but seals and blues darken much more then the chocolates and lilacs.

If I haven’t mentioned before, I’ve never had or been around Siamese cats a whole lot. So these two are certainly little teachers. Somewhere back there is some pictures of Yum-Yum and KoKo and they are night and day. KoKo is the darker one and Yum-Yum has always been the light one. Hubby could never tell them apart, but I could. Yum-Yum is taller (if that makes sense) and lankier. Not to mention the most vocal. KoKo is smaller, darker and not as loud.

In other news, Ringling Bros Circus is being forced to shut down. Granted I’ve never been a big fan of how any traveling show treats their animals, but at the same time a tradition is ending and all because even though things got better for the animals it just was not enough for those who pretend to care for the animals.

Once the elephants in the room disappeared, it turns out the circus itself wouldn’t be far behind.

After 146 years under big top tents, executives of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus announced Sunday it would close forever in late May.

“Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop” said Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment that produces the circus. “This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.

The beginning of the end of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” can be traced to the mid-1990s, when the ABC7 I-Team exposed violent methods used by circus elephant trainers.

A 1995 I-Team investigation “Tamed or Tortured” revealed heavy-handed tactics employed by circus trainers and animal handlers to control elephants and teach them so-called “tricks.” The I-Team showed how circus workers used metal “bull hooks” on elephants to make them respond-and the bloody injuries that accompanied such tactics.

Circus executives maintained their methods were intended to humanely guide the animals and not inflict harm-but videos showed a more brutal reality.

According to Ringling data in 1995, the circus owned 43 elephants, and a 200-acre “Center for Elephant Conservation” in central Florida. The I-Team visited that site in 1995. Ringling was said to have owned the biggest herd of Asian elephants in North America

The drumbeat against Ringling, its owner and circus producers became louder the past two decades with some cities banning the use of performing elephants in traveling shows.

In 2015 Ringling officials announced that they would phase out elephants from all performances, but it was apparently too late. Attendance never recovered. Circus officials, who informed 500 employees this weekend after performances in Orlando and Miami, have said they will hold a news conference on Monday to discuss the decision.

At one time the Ringling Bros. had three touring circuses, and made annual stops in Chicago and Rosemont. Now down to two touring units, there will be 30 more shows between now and May. Before the tents come down forever, stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and at the Nassau County Coliseum in New York on May 21.

The circus goes back to the mid-1880’s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of performing animals and human oddities, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born under one name and single big top.

Through the 20th century the circus took a back seat to other forms of entertainment and children became less and less enticed by animal and acrobat acts. TV, movies, video games and the internet were more popular with young people.

“It’s a different model that we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price” Feld said. “So you’ve got all these things working against it.”

When the Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967 “The Greatest” was also the longest show on earth, at just under 3 hours. When the last shows play, they will be 2 hours and 7 minutes, with the longest segment – a tiger act – 12 minutes long.

“Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” he said.

In the end, more difficult was trying to get a five-ton mammal to toss a beach ball or stand on one leg. As the I-Team determined, couldn’t be done without repeated physical violence and was never completely safe for handlers, performers or spectators. The brutal nature of making elephants behave and perform proved to be the undoing of the circus.

Attendance has been dropping for 10 years, said Juliette Feld, but when the elephants left, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. Paradoxically, while many said they didn’t want big animals to perform in circuses, many others refused to attend a circus without them.

“We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Bros. was getting to see elephants,” she said. “We stand by that decision. We know it was the right decision. This was what audiences wanted to see and it definitely played a major role.”

Existing Ringling animals – lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas – will go to suitable homes. Ms. Feld says the company will continue operating the Center for Elephant Conservation.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime opponent of the circus, wasted no time in claiming victory.

“After 36 years of PETA protests, which have awoken the world to the plight of animals in captivity, PETA heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times,” Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a statement.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, acknowledged the move was “bittersweet” for the Felds but said: “I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts.”

Some displaced circus employees will be placed in positions with the company’s other, profitable shows – it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live-but most will be out of a job. Juliette Feld said the company will help employees with job placement and resumes.

Article is from ABC 7 Chicago and there are videos there if you really want to watch them.

I am most curious as what a ‘suitable home’ might be for the now displaced lions and tigers mentioned above. The others are of course are a bit easier to home. I really hope they are reaching out to Wildcat Sanctuary or Big Cat Rescue to find great homes for these animals.

I hate HATE that PETA is crowing about this. These are the WORST people on the planet! I wish we could get rid of them as they are so horrible towards the very creatures they say they protect. I do have a fabulous rant here already about them. Everything I said there I still strongly believe.

keep-rescuing

Until next time, animal lovers need to pay attention to details when it comes to so called rescued sites and organizations big and small. Don’t get swept up in the heat of the moment. It could be costly both to you and the very animals you want to save. Above all, never stop helping them in every way. ❤

Serious Edit to Add: I completely and hopelessly forgot to mention In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue as another great place for the circus animals to end up. I am terribly sorry for this over sight.

 

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