For too long, wild animals have been treated abysmally and kept in terrible conditions solely for the purpose of making them perform in circuses.
Why? For the entertainment of the masses, as though that’s a perfectly acceptable reason to mistreat animals. Disclaimer: it isn’t.
Now though, things are starting to change for the better and one German circus has phased out its use of wild animals completely, in favour of holograms so that no animals are harmed.
Circus Roncalli is the world’s first holographic circus show, having stopped using wild animals in the 1990’s – decades before others began to take similar steps.
As reported by German newspaper RP Online, via The Dodo, the German circus took to using only domestic horses in its shows. Until recently, when they made the decision to stop using animals altogether.
The media director of the circus, Markus Strobl, spoke to the publication earlier this year about their decision to convert to holographic performances.
Most of the numbers in the show would already be done by the artists and clowns today anyway. The focus of the Circus Roncalli is on poetic and acrobatic numbers.
The holograms have a mesmerising effect, giving the impression of larger than life animals taking centre stage in the ring.
Now, trapeze artists and clowns exist alongside a wide range of holographic animals from around the world – including elephants and even fish.
While the projected elephants wave their trunks at the crowd and stand on their hind legs, bright orange fish later swim the length of the arena.
The president of Animal Defenders International, Jan Creamer, told The Dodo circuses like this one are ‘the future’.
Thankfully the public is voting with their feet, and increasingly visiting shows where the performers get to choose instead of being forced to perform.
This is the future of circus — a performance everyone can enjoy and for which intelligent, sentient beings are not used and depicted as objects of entertainment.
The news comes just one month after a Bill was announced in England which will ban circuses from using wild animals in their performances for good.
The Wild Animals in Circuses Bill will ensure that circus operators in England will no longer be able to use wild animals as part of a travelling circus, with the government saying this has ‘no place in modern society’.
Although this ban only applies to wild animals, other domestic animals such as horses, donkeys, and dogs will be inspected regularly by officials.
Way to go, Circus Roncalli.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).