By Sunita Mager – Though the traditional Cambodian circus art carved on ancient temples within the country point to the usage of animals during their shows, modern circus arts in Cambodia has taken a huge step away from involving any animals in their circus acts.
Phare is one of a number of exciting and innovative circus productions that dazzle audiences worldwide with talented human trapeze artists, jugglers, contortionists, acrobats, fire-eaters, musicians, dancers, and artists – all without involving animals. But still, thousands of animals are being forced to perform dangerous stunts, are exploited to traveling circuses and are cruelly treated.
It’s important to know that the animals that you see do not jump through hoops or balance on rope because they want to and think it’s fun. They do this out of fear of what will happen if they don’t.
Additionally, most of the circus animals have horrible living conditions:
- Small cages that don’t allow for much exercise or to roam around freely.
- Loneliness and depression through isolation of their own kind
- Brutal whipping, beating and other forms of punishment.
But we are heading into a bright future
Public demand for animal and cruelty-free circus productions is strongly on the rise. The last 20 years has brought strict regulations as well as changing public opinions thanks to the help of International organisations. Born Free Foundation, PETA and Animal Allies Abroad for example, are taking a stand and actively creating awareness to end animal abuse – which means that we can look into a bright future and see circuses moving more and more to non-animal performances. Soon performing animal acts will be a blast from the past!
Steps for the conservation of wildlife animals in Cambodia are being made too. We have some pretty unique wild animals here in Cambodia. The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), is the first nature conservation center in the country that contributes to the conservation of wild animals and biodiversity.
Located outside of the temples of Angkor, the center offers regular guided center tours whereby you can see a variety of animal species, and learn about their effort to save Cambodia’s wildlife. More information can be found on their website at www.accb-cambodia.org.
So, the next time you visit Phare, The Cambodian Circus or any other circus, just remember that animal-free circuses have all the thrills, chills, and fun that you expect at the big top—Plus at Phare, you can even meet the acrobats after the show.
If you’re ready for a fun show and a wild night out without the roaring of animals, then book your tickets online here.