October 23, 2013
Re "Of elephants and bullhooks," Editorial, Oct. 22 Every year since 1922, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has performed for circus fans in Los Angeles. Elephants have always been an integral part of Ringling Bros., providing an up-close way for our audiences to experience these amazing animals in a way they can nowhere else. Unfortunately, The Times appears to have simply accepted the representations of animal rights groups about how our elephants are trained. The "guide," referred to by the outdated term "bullhook" in the editorial, is an animal husbandry tool for working with elephants approved by experts, including the American Veterinary Medical Assn.
October 22, 2013 |
As human understanding of elephants has evolved, so has our treatment of them. Zoos decades ago freed these largest of land mammals from standing for hours in chains on arthritis-inducing concrete. Also gone from many zoos is the bullhook, an instrument that resembles a fireplace poker that is used to poke, prod or strike an elephant. Although the blunt end can be used as a lead for an elephant, the sharp end makes it a tool of coercion. The Los Angeles Zoo stopped using the bullhook in any manner in 2010.
September 23, 2013 |
This is a show about clowning, and I'm the straight man,” says actor Lorenzo Pisoni early on in “Humor Abuse,” currently sending Mark Taper Forum audiences skyward with the velocity of a helium balloon. He pauses, then adds, “Seriously.” Pisoni is only being honest, albeit self-effacing, and thus begins a rapturous 90 minutes that sail past like cascading juggling pins. By keeping its knee-slapping, gasp-inducing and heart-tugging elements in quietly accelerating balance, this Obie-winning solo piece about growing up with the Pickle Family Circus lands an uproarious, astounding and affecting tour de force.
August 8, 2013 |
The family-friendly fun at Adventuredome at Circus Circus will be more affordable than usual as the indoor theme park celebrates its 20th anniversary later this month. Adventuredome , the 5-acre amusement park at Circus Circus that's enclosed in a giant dome of pink glass, welcomed its first guests Aug. 23, 1993, in Las Vegas . To mark the occasion, reduced-price admission will be offered Aug. 22-25. The best pricing will be available Aug. 22, on what is being called “Throwback Thursday.” For one day, visitors will pay 1993 admission prices: $12.95 for “premium” guests 48 inches or taller and $8.95 for “juniors” 33-48 inches tall.
August 1, 2013 |
SeaWorld would no doubt prefer that the public forget about Dawn Brancheau, the trainer who died in an attack by a killer whale at its Orlando theme park more than three years ago. But that's unlikely to happen in the near future - not after the recent release of the documentary "Blackfish," which explores why Tilikum, a whale involved in two previous deaths, attacked Brancheau during a performance. Conclusions are hard to draw, but if nothing else, the public is learning to ask harder questions about whether it is humane or right to keep these intelligent, social marine mammals in aquarium tanks, performing for crowds.
June 13, 2013 |
CALI, Colombia - Ask Ana Julia Torres how many children she has, and she'll say 652: two human offspring plus the hundreds of tigers, lions, mules, snakes, monkeys and other species residing at her refuge north of here. The creatures have typically been seized from or cast off by narcos, circuses, animal traffickers and bored collectors. Her reference to the "children" inhabiting her 8-acre private facility, named Villa Lorena after her daughter, reflects her deep love for the animals.