Stop Circus Suffering

Lion hits out at British circus trainer

Thomas Chipperfield is swiped at by big cat during first controversial show

Footage has emerged of one of Thomas Chipperfield’s lions taking a swipe at the circus trainer during his first ‘An evening with lions and tigers’ show in Wales. The incident clearly demonstrates these incredible big cats do not want to be subjugated; even when bred in captivity, lions retain all their wild instincts.

The performance opens tonight at its second stop in Wrexham, despite overwhelming opposition and planned protests. Animal Defenders International (ADI) launched a Care2 petition against the ‘Victorian’ circus-style performance, which has amassed almost 50,000 signatures of support in the last week. Wrexham resident Emma Hughes has said that she is “ashamed that our town and council is allowing the event”. 

The one-man animal show ‘An evening with lions and tigers’ was denied a licence by local authorities in Scotland and cancelled from an event in Herefordshire after ADI raised concerns, with a petition attracting 12,000 signatures in just four days. Opening on July 3, the Welshpool show has attracted negative publicity and low audiences, with MP Glyn Davies expressing his disappointment that the show was being held in his constituency.

A postponed feature on the act was broadcast by BBC One’s The One Show earlier this week, despite criticism from ADI and members of the public. Guest and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden voiced her concerns in the studio, saying “….I’m not sure about the message that it sends out….species aren’t there for our entertainment and it worries me that it just kind of perpetuates that view… it just makes me feel uncomfortable.”

The event is promoted as “educational”, however presenter and journalist Dom Littlewood, who presented The One Show feature and saw the show questioned its value, stating “I personally don’t think there is much they would learn from that show.”

Statements attributed to the show director appear to reveal a concerning lack of basic knowledge about the animals. Anthony Beckwith attempted to explain the incident, saying “We have a lioness who is in season and the male lions try to assert their dominance over her.” However, there are only two lions in the show who are both male. Worryingly, he is reported as stating that such incidents “happen all the time”.

Four year old lions Assegai and Tsavo live in cages alongside tigers Nadia, Altai and Syas on the back of a truck known as a ‘beastwagon’. Their lives are in stark contrast to those they would have in the wild. Given their solitary nature, in their natural environment tigers have limited contact with their own kind, roaming and defending a territory which can be as large as 470 km2. In their confined travelling circus living quarters, the Chipperfield tigers live in close proximity to one another and alongside lions, who they would not encounter in the wild.

This archaic act has no educational value and causes animal suffering. It is high time to ban wild animal acts!

Take action

  • Sign our petition against ‘An evening with lions and tigers’ in Wrexham and attend local protests being held at each performance
  • Urge your MP to sign EDM 192 which calls for the circus ban to be swiftly passed – you can find out who your MP is and contact them here
  • Make a donation and help us expose the suffering of animals in entertainment

Comments

  1. alice volschenk · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Sad to these regal beings of my country beaten into submission to do tricks for stupid people !!!

  2. Val Whyte · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    This archaic act has no educational value and causes animal suffering. It is high time to ban wild animal acts!

  3. Renee Wright · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    this primitive bull shit has to STOP!!!!

  4. donna archer · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    against ‘An evening with lions and tigers’ in Wrexham ..the animals are nothing more than slaves imprisoned!

  5. Carol Brooks · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Disgusting “act”! Shut down all wild animal shows!!

  6. Victor R Brown · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    These people (Chipperfields) have abuse animals for as long as I can remember, they try any excuse to carry on!! they are the ones who need education and I suggest they start at ADI

  7. Lucie Pellerin · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    We have to cease the breaking of natural spirit in all natural beings and existence.

  8. Helene Malek · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Wild animals are not to be slaves & sometimes they go wild being treated so , Get these ones loose in a sanctuary & don’t kill the ones who hurt ! They are not responsible ! WE ARE !

  9. Sandy Noffsinger · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    It’s beyond time to step away from our Victorian
    beliefs that animals are here for our entertainment and enslavement. END ANIMAL SUFFERING FOR ENTERTAINMENT!!

  10. mark frankcom · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Anyone who participates in or goes to watch this should be ashamed of themselves

  11. frances · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Please stop animals performing

  12. Diane MilleR · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    wild animals do not belong in the circus, pass a law banning this outrage !

  13. Shirin Caiola · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Why are you surprised when lions attack? Anybody with a bit of a brain would understand how it feels to be imprisoned years after years in a TINY cage!

  14. Michael powell · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    They don’t belong in the circus born free!!

  15. joii resnick · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    please stop treating animals like slaves.

  16. JULIE PERKS · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Shear greed for money motivates these people.
    It is unbelievable that it is still allowed to happen in this enlightened age!

  17. christine mueller · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    lions and other big cats are meant to be in the wild. protected. period. wild animals are not for entertain purposes. wake up assholes

  18. Barbara Greaves · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Please put an end to the barbaric and inhumane cruelty to wild animals in circuses.

  19. kathy brunner · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    STOP THE ABUSE AND CRUELTY TO THESE WONDERFUL ANIMALS….STOP.

  20. jackie fontanez · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    PROTESTING USE OF LIONS OR TIGERS SHOULD BE ABOLISHED. THEY BELONG IN THE WOULD WHERE BORN.THESE ANIMALS ARE GOING TO BE AWARE THAT THEY ARE STRONGER THAN HUMANS. SEND THEM BACK.

  21. Marie · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    They should just leave the lions and tigers alone they are not here to entertain

  22. Sunny Hodge · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Hope they don’t kill the Lion!

  23. Bunni · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    karma wins every time, STOP thinking you are better and tougher then the innocent animals

  24. ber kavanagh · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    AND WHO WOULD BLAME THE LION FOR TAKING A SWIPE AT SOMEONE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOLDING HIM PRISONER AND DENYING HIM FREEDOM…

  25. Edith · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    support

  26. jolanda struve · 17 July 2015 at 10:57a

    Stop abusing animals….wild animals belong to the wild …to nature…what we do to them is demeaning…disgracefull…we should be ashamed of ourselves….making them do tricks to entertain us…can’t you see how wrong this is…..As a kid i Always cried in the circus…then i did not no why…now i do…now i understand…please stop abusing wild animals

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