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Animal rights group plans to protest the use of animals in circuses outside Shrine Mosque Saturday

Circus performers ride Carden International Circus elephants
Carden International Circus
Circus performers ride Carden International Circus elephants

The Carden International Circus is in Springfield February 3-12.

Animal rights activists plan to protest outside the Shrine Mosque Saturday, February 4, as circus goers arrive for the Carden International Circus’s afternoon performance.

Jessica – who gave her last name only as Animal Advocate – is the event’s organizer. She tells KSMU their goal is to convince the circus to retire its animals.

"As the public becomes more aware of the cruelty that the animals endure for the circus industry, they decide, you know, that a circus can be more fun, in fact, if they don't have to subject that animal to, for example, confinement," she said.

She claims Carden uses bull hooks to train its elephants and has made them work when they’re sick.

On its website, Carden International Circus states it is “committed 110% to the exceptional care and ethical treatment of all of our animals.”

Six states ban the use of certain wild animals, including elephants, in traveling animal acts or circuses. They are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Saturday's protest will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.