A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

the circus came to town...

'The Greatest Show on Earth' - the Ringling Bros and Barnum Bailey brought their 'Dragons' circus show to Grand Rapids - on a train a mile long each! We saw it as we drove out of town and it is huge!

And it was a proper circus with all sorts animals and acrobats. The kids are really into Madagascar 3 - the one with the circus, so it was great timing. Though Charlotte didn't believe the animals were real at first!
We got there early, and before the show, we were allowed onto the floor to meet some of the performers and see one of the elephants painting! I don't think I've been this close to an elephant before!

There were elephants that could climb onto each other, tigers that could jump over each other, goats that could walk the tight rope and dogs doing hurdles! There were people standing on horses' backs, girls hanging onto each other by their hair, trapeze, acrobats, clowns and awesome stunts on bikes.
It was like watching a live episode of America's Got Talent! Back to back entertainment for 2 hours!

The lions and tigers sitting on stools waiting their turn to perform

Jumping over each other! 

8 family members rode their small motorbikes round that cage! 

But I do not know how I feel about all of the animals. There was lots of information about the Ringling Bros center for elephant conservation but who knows how long they spend there and how much time they spend on the trains. They had all sorts of animals including lions, tigers, horses, goats, llama and dogs. It was pretty incredible to see elephants climbing on each others' backs and onto tiny stools - I was surprised at how they are so agile and graceful given how big they are! Seeing lions and tigers sitting on their bottoms and doing tricks like little dogs. It was far from natural for them but a breath taking sight.
Do I agree with it? Not really. But I supported them by buying tickets to see their show.
I guess I feel that such a big circus company will look after their animals as well or better than a smaller one but who knows. I haven't seen a circus since I was a kid and I hope with so much press, that conditions for the animals has improved over the years.

I know we really enjoyed all of the acrobats, the breath-taking stunts, the silly clowns and the fire breathing dragon. There were so many performers and always something to watch across the arena. Would it have been the same without the animals? No, but we would have still enjoyed it.

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