Denmark pays $1.6M to buy last remaining circus elephants for retirement

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Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny are four lucky elephants who’ll be living out the rest of their days as retirees, thanks to the government of Denmark.

The country forked over a whopping $1.6 million in anticipation of a ban on wild circus animals to come later this year.

As of right now, Denmark has no solid plans for where the elephants will be kept, but Animal Protection Denmark is caring for them until they find their permanent forever homes.

The move to purchase the elephants is part of an ongoing effort around the world to protect circus animals.

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom similarly announced their own ban on travelling circuses using wild animals.

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Just a couple of months later, it was decided that baby African elephants would no longer be taken from the wild and sold to travelling circuses, the BBC reported.

In 2018, Germany’s Circus Roncalli became the first to do away with live animals entirely in lieu of holograms. It’s a technological alternative that aims to significantly reduce animal cruelty.

Circus Roncalli, founded in 1976, started phasing out animal performances as early as the 1990s. Now, they exclusively use 360-degree holographic projections, the Rheinische Post reports.

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The holographic acts are similar to what the audience would traditionally see, from performing elephants to galloping rings of horses.

This is just one example in a wave of movement towards the complete ban of using circus animals around the world.

Famous circus corporations Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey shut down in 2017 after years of protest against them.

In 2015, citing a “mood shift” among customers, Ringling Bros. stopped using elephants in their performances. But they continued to suffer low ticket sales, and shuttered two years later.

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According to Animal Justice, Canada has no national or provincial bans on circuses using exotic animals, though some municipalities do.

Most of the bans, the organization states, come with exceptions, like dog and horse shows and races, and agricultural fairs like the Calgary Stampede.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have an ongoing petition to shut down the annual stampede, especially after six horses died during chuckwagon racing this year alone.

“Horses will continue to pay with their lives until this barbaric race is stopped,” their petition reads.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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