Belize: Don't Allow Animals To Be Used As Entertainment

  • by: Anna B
  • recipient: Prime Minister of Belize
A Guatemalan circus worker's life has forever been changed. And not in a good way. Earlier this month, Cipriano Alvarez - a 55-year-old man in charge of feeding 13 circus tigers - was nearly mauled to death.

While sticking his arms in the tiger enclosure to change the water, the animals attacked ripping off both of his arms before he could be rescued. Unfortunately, his arms were unable to be reattached.

Mr. Alvarez took the job in order to earn some money to feed his family and now he may never be able to work again.

This is just another example of how dangerous things can get when you put wild animals like tigers and people in close proximity. Last year a woman in the UK and a man in China both lost their lives after being attacked by tigers at a zoo. And tigers are routinely shot down after escaping their enclosures.

The circus animals were being held in a Guatemala before they found a permanent home in Belize. If the circus had been in performing in Guatemala, it would have been illegal, that's because that nation, along with three other Central American countries including, Costa Rica, Panama, and El Salvador prohibit using wild animals in circuses. Their officials know that using animals in entertainment is not only cruel but dangerous, as Mr. Alvarez's story proves.

Yet, Belize is one of the few countries in the region that still doesn't have a national ban against using animals in entertainment. But that can change.

Belizean officials should not allow this circus or any other to perform inside their borders. Please sign the petition and encourage the Government of Belize to ban wild animal performances in circuses and any other type of entertainment.
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