Protesters unite to advocate for animals outside Shrine Circus

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Over a dozen protestors came out to advocate for circus animals at the Memorial Coliseum which is hosting the 71st annual Mizpah Shrine Circus.

Two women holding signs at the protest against the Shrine Circus outside the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, January 28.
Two women holding signs at the protest against the Shrine Circus outside the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, January 28.

The circus will be held through Sunday at the Coliseum, with seven performances.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) called on the Fort Wayne community to stay away from the circus earlier this week and organized the protest. They say studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that such events cannot meet their physical or behavioral needs.

Protesters handed out leaflets and informed audiences walking into the event of their cause. A NewsChannel 15 photographer indicated that the protests were peaceful.

One women holding a sign at the protest against the Shrine Circus outside the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, January 28.
One women holding a sign at the protest against the Shrine Circus outside the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, January 28.

The Ringling Brothers circus has faced similar scrutiny for their use of animals in recent years. This originally lead to the organization agreeing to phase out elephants from their events by 2018. However, as of January 14, what was once defined as ‘the Greatest Show on Earth’ has scheduled their final performance for May 21 of this year.

The Fort Wayne Mizpah Shrine Circus is performed by the Tarzan Zerbini Circus. This year’s show includes elephants, horses, dogs, camels, and other animals.

The protesters did not provide evidence TZ Productions abuses or neglects any of its animals.

For more information about Animal Defenders International, visit their website.