Jordan Circus' animal exhibitor license was rescinded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2003, and I can understand why.

On March 17, I went to see the circus animals at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. There were seven thin, scruffy, dirty Shetland ponies, three very old emaciated female elephants, some poodles which had been entirely dyed pink and blue and six Siberian tigers crammed together in three tiny cages.

Jordan's license was rescinded because of constant violations of the Animal Welfare Act and repeated indictments for animal cruelty, abuse and neglect.

The ponies had no food or water in their stall. The elephants were very small and thin, their ages ranging from 36 to 48; they had all been born in captivity and had never known a normal life. They were downloaded from the transport truck and chained in a dark corner of the arena. This procedure is repeated day after day as they are shunted from one town to another, all year.

I was shocked by the appearance of the oldest elephant, who had big sunken hollows in her temples, with all the bones of her skull protruding. I was born and brought up in India, and saw many elephants, but none as pitiful as this one.

The Siberian tigers were pacing restlessly in their cages, where they are permanently kept and only let out into the ring for 20 minutes or so, forced to do unnatural tricks. They are then prodded with metal rods back into the cages. This is their life, all year. They cannot be let out, they are dangerous. They should be roaming the Siberian forests where they are not a danger to anyone.

Why does the fairground management allow such a disreputable and unlicensed circus to come to Astoria? Is this exhibition of emaciated animals their idea of "entertainment"?

JANICE ROBERTSON

Astoria

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