Protests accompany circus opening

VISITORS to a circus being staged in Ipswich have been met with placard boards as protesters make attempt to highlight concerns over the treatment of its animals.

VISITORS to a circus being staged in Ipswich have been met with placard boards as protesters make attempt to highlight concerns over the treatment of its animals.

Bobby Roberts' Super Circus has been set up at Trinity Park for the week but the visit is not going down well with everyone.

Around 15 people from protest group Ipswich Animal Rights were outside the entrance to the venue yesterday evening to send out a message to people visiting the event.

Melanie Cross, one of the group's supporters, said: “We want to educate the public about animal circuses as a lot of people are unaware that they still happen in this day and age.

“We are not opposed to circuses just the use of animals in circuses. It is very selfish to use animals - there's just no need for it.

“Around eight circuses travel Great Britain with animals, the majority are all-human acts now because times have changed and people are accepting animal circuses are cruel.”

Most Read

Bobby Roberts' Super Circus has previously come under some scrutiny in recent times as the only circus left in the UK to travel with an elephant.

55-year-old Anne was bought by the circus when she was five years old but her transportation between sites has raised concern among animal rights campaigners.

Though no longer performing, she still travels with the rest of the acts and audience members can be photographed with her.

Circus ringmaster Mike Lea said: “Anne still travels with the circus happily in retirement. She has one person who looks after her daily needs and her own large vehicle when the show moves from each town.

“It has been suggested by certain opposition groups that Anne should be flown off to a sanctuary in America but to send her away anywhere other than the circus would cause her unnecessary stress and do her irreparable damage.”

The circus is in town until Sunday with shows at 5pm and 7.30pm tonight, tomorrow, and on Friday.

On Saturday shows start at 2.30pm and 5pm and there's a 2.30pm performance on Sunday.

The show includes the acrobatic Mongolian Gambat Troupe, circus strongman Panche, Arabian Stallion Horses, and Bobo the clown and sidekick Clumbsy.

Bobo the clown has a hole in one of his colossal size 28s and is hoping a local cobbler can help.

The shoes cost £250 and have to be imported them from Italy and, as Ringmaster Mike Lea explained, big shoes mean big repair jobs.

He said: “We're hoping to find a cobbler in the area who can help us. The clowns' shoes don't fit in most machines so when they do get a hole it's a serious problem.

“We would of course give whoever can help a night at the circus as a thank you.”