A Tilikum amongst the lions

A Tilikum amongst the lions

Circuses
08.05.2017
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On the 7th of May at Doullens, Chirkane attacked his trainer in front of a hundred or so spectators. One Voice is categorically against his euthanasia.

On the 7th of May at Doullens, Chirkane attacked his trainer in front of a hundred or so spectators. One Voice is categorically against his euthanasia. Join us in in our fight to place him under our care and into a sanctuary.

The lion is a wild and dangerous animal, who can deny this? Despite being born in captivity, he hasn’t lost his DNA as far as we are aware. At the age of six, a lion is already an adult, roaming with his friends then resting in the sun, under the Serengeti sky. But in a circus, he has no bushland, no open space, no sun. He has nothing but the cage and the circus ring.

The attack that Chirkane is being blamed for is no crime. It was a moment of frustration, not an attack with intention to kill*. What is not natural, on the other hand, is to lock up a feline in a tiny cage and to only let him out for training and shows under a noisy big top. It’s to inflict him with endless lorry travel. What is criminal, is to deny him everything that makes him a lion. Chirkane had enough and simply wanted to be a lion, in the same way as the orca Tilikum, who killed his SeaWorld trainer, just wanted to be an orca. A real one.

But sadly the Tilikum of the ring is not an orca. He is not worth millions of dollars. Circuses and zoos produce as many lion cubs like Chirkane as cats produce litters. When they malfunction we throw them away and replace them.

He wanted to “dominate”? No, in the circuses, it is the trainers who want to dominate! Chirkane just wanted to say stop. Sunday was the one show too far. Suddenly, he couldn’t stand the bullying orders anymore. He couldn’t stand to return to his cage, to wait on the urine soaked sawdust for the next hostile session. So he did as lions do: he neutralised the intruder so that he would leave him alone. He reacted like a lion. And we want to kill him for that.

One Voice, who regularly warn of the dangers of circus animals, is deeply sorry for the trainer for whom it wishes a rapid and total recovery.

If proof were necessary, this drama proves to us once again that wild animals have no place in the circus. It is urgent that France bans this outdated practice, as have so many other countries in the world.

To ask for Tilly the Lion’s freedom, and for him to be immediately assigned into One Voice’s care, please write to the
Environment Minister.

* “Lions are excellent wild predators that have no place in the circus. The predator instinct is deeply engrained in felines (even in domestic cats). Every animal can be subject to a moment of aggressive behaviour, whether that be caused by a lack of well-being, by pain or by stress. But the consequences of such an attack can vary depending on whether we are talking about a Chihuahua or a lion.

* “Lions are excellent wild predators that have no place in the circus. The predator instinct is deeply engrained in felines (even in domestic cats). Every animal can be subject to a moment of aggressive behaviour, whether that be caused by a lack of well-being, by pain or by stress. But the consequences of such an attack can vary depending on whether we are talking about a Chihuahua or a lion.

In the lion’s case, there was no fatal attack; it was just a moment of irritation. If a lion intends to kill, he would kill via the throat in seconds”. Dr Pierre Gellego, consultant veterinarian.

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