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A circus is a place, where people and animals get trained to do various activities and perform shows. They would be trained to perform different stunts and it would be a treat to many people watching them. Apart from people, there are different circus animals working and are trained from a very early stage of their life. They are trained from an early age because it is easier to train them than adult animals. 

Types of Circus animals - Are they safe?

The trainers will build a bond with the circus animals to make them feel comfortable and they spend hours training them properly for different stunts. Although the use of animals is almost banned now, there are a few types of circus animals you can find performing different stunts. 

What type of circus animals are used? 



In the circus, the commonly used animal is the Asian elephant. An average Asian elephant is 10 feet long and weighs between 10,000 and 20,000 pounds. They are calm in nature and are one of the most intelligent mammals on earth. They are known to use their trunks to pick food, smell, suck water, spray water on their backs and blow into their mouths. 

They are chosen because they are very intelligent in terms of following instructions properly. In the circus, they use their trunks to perform almost every activity and obtain a diet that is quite high according to its size. They eat fruits, vegetables, fresh bread, and hay and drink 30 to 50 gallons of water a day.


Primates have similarities with humans and have a high level of intelligence. When compared to other types of circus animals, the primates used to learn quite early. They include chimpanzees and Lemurs for the circus. They are quick learners because of their high level of intelligence. As the primates do not naturally inhabit, they usually relocate solely for the purpose of human education and entertainment.

Among the primates, Chimpanzees are uniquely intelligent and are capable of fashioning tools, walking upright, and learning sign language. 

Big cats

Big cats include tigers and lions, and so are considered one of the dangerous types of circus animals. When they perform in a circus, everyone will get goosebumps, watching their performance. 

Big cats

Of the species of tigers, the Bengal tiger is the most commonly used circus animal. It can be found in numerous combinations of colors like orange, black, and white. The tigers used for circus performances were bred and born in captivity,  but still as they are endangered species, due to the destruction of natural habitat, and killing for different commercials. 

Moreover, the big cats will be monitored by the trainers behind the barriers for the safety of the audience. And in captivity, the lifespan of a tiger is up to 20 years in captivity.


Birds are also an important part of different types of circus animals. They perform amazing stunts. The birds used in circus performances include parrots, peacocks, doves, cockatoos, etc. They feed mostly on grains, vegetables, and fruits. 



Horses that are used in the circus are mostly quiet, socio-friendly types of circus animals. They are used to perform various stunning stunts in the circus. They have excellent eye-sight, smell, and hearing sensations and so if they are properly trained, they can become a very good performer. 

The common breed of horses is Friesian, Arabian, standardbred, & miniature horses. They are very good at following instructions and so it is easy to train them. Their diet includes grass and grains. They are very fast and the horses can reach speeds of 40 mph. 

Why have some states banned animals in circuses?

Although there are various stunts and performances, the use of animals has been banned in the circus for a very long time. But due to various reasons, they have banned different types of circus animals.

Cruel training 

have some states banned animals in circuses?

They use cruel training techniques. Various animals are trained using cruel and painful training sessions. For example, during training sessions, the elephants are continuously beaten. Big cats are crammed into small cages that make them barely turn when they do not perform well. 

Lack of freedom 

96 percent of the wild animals’ entire lives are spent in chains or cages. They have to go through extreme weather conditions and are forced to eat, sleep and defecate in the same space. Due to long hours of standing on the hard surfaces, and lack of appropriate exercise, there is an increased risk of death. 

Wild animals are born to live freely in their natural habitat. But when they go into the circus, they have to go through social isolation and live in cages. This will lead them to forget how to behave naturally and the only thing they will do is follow the instructions of their trainers. 

Circus is only for entertainment

Circus is not done for education but purely for entertainment. The circus does not aid wildlife conservation. It is our responsibility to equally protect them from being extinct, therefore we need to protect the animals especially the endangered for the upcoming generations. 

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