Controversial Animal Show to Appear in Wrexham Despite Worldwide Opposition
Thousands of people worldwide have signed a petition opposing a ‘wild animal performance’ show which is due to appear in Wrexham from tomorrow.
‘An evening with Lions and Tigers’ by Thomas Chipperfield is to arrive at Stansty Lodge, Mold Road tomorrow and will be hosting shows over the course of the next week. The evening has been described by organisers as a ‘live educating’ and live action show that will ‘lift the curtain on wild animal training in the entertainment industry’
The animals are owned and presented by Thomas Chipperfield who’s family have a 300 year history of working with wild animals and once had the largest circus in Europe. Chipperfield has spent most of his years in the circus, but has also provided animals for film and TV.
However the show has been met with online uproar and strong opposition, with over 33,000 people across the globe signing a petition against the show appearing in Wrexham. A sample of signatories indicated around 15% being from the UK, and none listing themselves specifically from Wrexham with the largest percentage being from America.
The petition, which was started by Animal Defendants International states on the petition: “The lions (Assegai and Tsavo) and tigers (Nadia, Altai and Syas) owned by Mr Chipperfield live in cages on the back of a vehicle known as a beastwagon.
“Animal Defenders International (ADI) has documented the Chipperfield big cats exhibiting abnormal repetitive behaviour which indicates how their welfare is being compromised by their inadequate environment. Vet Marc Abraham described it as “a sure sign their welfare is severely compromised”.
“Such behaviour is not seen in the wild but is commonly seen in animals made to perform.
“Making wild animals perform in the name of entertainment provides no educational or conservation value to the audience and sends entirely the wrong message, especially to young people.”
A protest opposing the show, which will be on Mold Road between Friday 17th of July and Sunday 26th of July, has also been planned and scheduled to take place.
However Anthony Beckwith, one of the owners of ‘An Evening with Lions and Tigers’ yesterday took to the Wrexham.com Facebook page to address concerns and defend the show.
Mr Beckwith said: “I just want to say that’s why we have set up this new show it’s not a circus, but a presentation that takes you behind the scenes, shows you the methods used in training, how and why we do what we do. We talk about welfare and conservation, but you also get to see the animals working – it’s fun and exciting but educating and we offer everyone the chance to ask questions.
“We give you tours of the animals living areas, we welcome any criticism as long as you have an open mind and are willing to hear both sides. I am not trying to change your mind just open it.
“Our door is always open, come down talk to us ask anything you like see for yourself then make up your own mind, all the scientific studies done into the welfare of wild animals in travelling shows where the animal welfare professionals, vets and behaviourists have actually visited shows and done first hand studies always comes back in support of what we do.”
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