Wild Animals in Circuses

Wild animal circus acts are largely gone from Canada

For nearly 40 years Zoocheck has been a leader in the fight against the use of wild animals in circuses. In addition to numerous investigations, public awareness campaigns, dozens of local legislative initiatives across the country, provincial lobbying campaigns and a successful major effort to convince the City of Toronto to ban wild animals in circuses (the first major city to take that step) in the early 1990s, Zoocheck has also expended considerable resources helping other animal welfare organizations address wild animal circuses in their communities both in North America and around the world.

While it’s possible there may still be a few wild animals in traveling shows in Canada, they are now rare. In fact, in recent years we are not aware of any circuses with wild animal acts coming to Canada. Animals that were considered integral to circuses in the past, such as elephants, big cats, bears and primates, are now largely absent from circuses touring Canada today. And there are no longer any traditional animal-based circuses operating out of Canada.

The greatest number of wild animals used for entertainment today can be found in film, television and other commercial activities, as well as in small traveling zoos and mobile live animal programs that frequent schools, corporate functions and special events. Zoocheck has been working aggressively for a number of years to stop the exploitation of wild animals in this manner.