What’s the first animal you think of when I say ‘critically endangered’?
If it’s not rhino, then that really doesn’t work for what I’m trying to do here.
It’s widely known there are very few rhinos surviving outside of national parks due to poaching and loss of habitat. Two species of the animal, the Javan and Sumatran rhinos, are critically endangered. Northern white rhinos are said to be on the brink of extinction.
With this knowledge, to see a circus using one of these majestic creatures for the entertainment of humans is sickening:
A circus in Russia has been training a white rhino – called Mafa – to perform, prompting a huge backlash from activists and humans with a conscience.
Social media users were furious when footage taken in Russia was released, showing the rhino being forced to parade and carry a man on its back in a circus ring, while the trainer holds whips at the ready.
Rhino’s have rarely been seen in circuses, and like all animals, are being rightly phased out due to years of protest about the cruel training and unnatural living conditions they’re forced to endure.
The Russian State Circus clip shows the rhino being made to sit and having the trainer climb onto its back before walking around the ring.
The wild African mammal is seen turning away from the trainer as he approaches with the whip, echoing the horrible training it must have been put through.
Another clip shows, what’s thought to be the same rhino at the Safari Circus in Moscow, sitting under a spotlight and hesitating a few times before setting off.
Probably because it was terrified and supposed to be on a never-ending African plain without any humans to harm it.
Chris Draper, of the Born Free wildlife charity, told the Independent:
It could quickly cause injury to the trainer, and if there isn’t a substantial barrier, to the public. However well trained as it is, rhinos are naturally nervous and impulsive.
To see the animal in this circumstance when you’ve seen one in the wild is utterly incongruent.
Not only is it being exposed to substantial noise, but the use of the whip is wrong. They would say it doesn’t hurt, but if that’s the case, why use it at all?
Don't Buy A Ticket! This is unconscionable and absolutely disgraceful. SAFARI CIRCUS RUSSIA @safari_circus is using a #RHINO, one of the most critically ENDANGERED species on the planet for human entertainment. SHAME ON YOU @SAFARI_CIRCUS 😠😠😠 Post by ChristyLee @christylee787#MODERNDAYSLAVERY #SLAVERY #ANIMALABUSE #RHINOS #SAVERHINOS #CIRCUS #DONTBUYATICKET #boycottcircus #russia #russuancircus #animalrights #pleaserepost #repost #racingextinction #criticallyendangered #endwildlifecrime #animalcrueltyI've added a petition here to sign against using Rhinos in their "Great Moscow Circus".https://www.thepetitionsite.com/574/118/825/tell-the-great-moscow-circus-rhinos-belong-in-the-wild/
Posted by Penny Yaffe Krakow on Thursday, 2 August 2018
A separate video shows trainer, Sergey Nesterov, speaking about how he sleeps next to the animal and only leaves it when he has to eat, saying ‘this way it got used to people’.
Mr Nesterov says it took a year to arrange the paperwork to transport Mafa from South Africa.
The circus’ website states it uses exotic animals, and features photos of Mafa, as well as another of a kangaroo with a chain around its neck and boxing gloves on.
There are also photos of five white tigers in a ring with a trainer.
One of the most endangered species on earth and its forced to do tricks in a Russian #circus The greed and cruelty of mankind has no limits! #rhino #Russia #Putin #Empire #Circus pic.twitter.com/mbg508IhEL
— Ruth Parkinson (@tiggerthedog) August 2, 2018
White rhinos are said to have very complex social structures.
Groups of up to 14 rhinos, made up of notably females and calves, are protected by an adult male who defends the territories of about one square mile, marked with dung piles.
This rhino performs at circus based in Russia. Can we even begin to imagine how awful his life is? The cold, the traveling, the daily performances, the loneliness and never any freedom. 😔#DontBuyATicket#StopWildlifeSlavery https://t.co/IE49FmDxKz
— Justice for Cecil (@CecilsJustice) August 1, 2018
Currently 19,600 – 21,000 white rhinos exist in protected areas and private game reserves, but, on average, three rhinos are poached every day across Africa.
You can donate to Save The Rhino who work to stop poaching and habitat loss.
Commenters online, who were completely disgusted by the use of these wild creatures as entertainment, are appealing to Vladimir Putin to put a stop to it.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected].