TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The company that owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it'll officially close in May ending a 146-year run. (can you hyperlink this
While animal rights groups celebrate, those part of the circus industry can't help but feel bad.
"It's just so sad to hear Ringling Bros. is closing their doors after so many years of so many amazing shows and artists," said Giovanni Zoppe, owner of the Zoppe Family Circus.
"There are tens of thousands of children throughout the country that aren't going to be able to see circuses here because of that reason," he said.
Even though Zoppe's show doesn't compete with Ringling Bros. because it's on a much smaller scale and doesn't include wild animals, he doesn't hesitate to have the company and the industry's back.
"I think these animal rights groups are awful. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, I'm sorry. They're a big percentage of why circus is dead. We can't fight them," he said. "It makes me very angry. Who are they (animal rights activists) to say what's right or wrong. We're around these animals 24 hours a day."
Right now, the Zoppe Family Circus is performing in downtown Tucson. The last performances are on Monday, January 16 near Mercado San Agustin just west of I-10 and Congress.
Zoppe assured they'll be back next year.
"We are going stronger than ever. We have no plans to close," he said.
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