If you see grown men dressed in elephant costumes on Biscayne Boulevard today, it's not conceptual art. Nor are they practicing for Burning Man or coming from a really good rave.
Activists from the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) plan to dress as ringmasters, clowns, and tigers to protest "the miserable life of circus animals" at the American Airlines Arena this afternoon. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will perform at the stadium this weekend, and ARFF-ers say they plan to "educate patrons."They claim at least 26 elephants have died since 1992 and that trainers use ropes, chains, and metal bull hooks to control the gentle giants. ( True or not, it sounds like a sad, shitty life.)
Circus reps didn't respond immediately to New Times request for comment. The company, however, won a lawsuit over a similar issue in late December. The suit alleged that handling elephants with hooks and chains is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.
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The protest is 3 to 6 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena.