The stress of life in a circus doesn’t end when the lights go down. Before animals are forced into the ring, they often face abuse and neglect at the hands of their trainers, Creamer said. They’re also typically kept in small living quarters, like barren metal crates, that provide little to no stimulation.
“ADI has time and again filmed circus trainers and workers routinely using metal bars, whips, electric prods and other objects to control animals and force them to perform,” she said. “They comply because they are frightened and know they will be punished should they disobey.”