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Circus Coming to Oceanport Next Week

The Cole Bros. big tent will go up on Port Au Peck Avenue for shows starting Aug. 13 to benefit the Oceanport First Aid Squad.

The circus returns to next week as an annual summer fundraiser to benefit the borough's first aid squad.

Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars will kick off the first of three days of performances Monday, Aug. 13 at 4:30 p.m., followed by an evening show at 7 p.m.

General admission tickets are $16, reserved seating is $20 per ticket and VIP seating costs $23 each. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Cole Bros. website.

According to Carole Connor, co-chair of the event for the , this is the eighth year for the circus and is one of two fundraisers they hold throughout the year.

"They keep it fresh," she said of the production, which features elephants, tigers, French poodles, springboard gymnasts, a Russian Barre routine, a magician, the human cannonball, clowns and more.

While she was reluctant to give any exact figures for how much the event brings in, Connor said that they receive a percentage of ticket sales and get a larger portion for those purchased in advance.

Connor said it's been challenging raising money in the down economy. "We try to do whatever we can," she said.

Ellie August 09, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Cole Bros has a long and documented USDA history for not providing even minimal care for their performing animals. They repeatedly break the law and are fined or cited over and over again. They consider these USDA fines as the cost of doing business. http://www.dm.usda.gov/oaljdecisions/120409_11-0316_CD_AWA_JohnWPughandColeBrothersCircusInc.pdf http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-enrd-233.html http://www.aphis.usda.gov/foia/enforcement_actions/2011/July/Animal%20Welfare%20Act/Complaints/FL07741%20&%20FX07141-AC%20Cole%20Bros.pdf In 2011 the USDA found Cole Bros Circus in violation of the handling of a dangerous animal. John Walker lll was the elephant trainer on tour with Cole Bros and can be seen in this video hooking the elephant in her ear as he forces her to move, you can hear her trumpet in pain and another of him beating the elephants across their faces and legs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx4hC7OOuek&feature=relmfu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIn82TqSP2M Tim Frisco is the elephant trainer touring with Cole Bros this year. Watch him training elephants behind closed doors and out of sight of the public. "You can't do it on the road," Frisco says. "I'm not going to touch her in front of a thousand people." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iouGQD6lf6A These are the reasons Oceanport needs to drop their animal circus fundraiser.
Patience August 09, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I have watched the Cole Bros. Circus perform for years and have not witnessed any of the claims that PETA has made. Hopefully, they will not distract from the talented performers who work so hard to put on a good show for our entertainment and for a very good cause.
Ellie August 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM
You may not have seen this cruelty, but the USDA has. You must not want to know the truth because you couldn’t have possible made the comment you just made if you had read those USDA reports or watched the video of those elephants being beat, shocked and burned with a blow torch. This is a synopsis of Cole Bros violations and fines for a couple of decades. http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?p=429&more=1 Once upon a time slavery, child abuse/labor, racism and beating your spousal was OK, but now we know it was wrong and society stood up and said, no more. Now we know that is cruel, inhumane and wrong to enslave, overwork and beat circus animals to make them entertain us. Unfortunately no one from the circus has ever gone to jail before when cited for mistreating these animals. The circus just pays the fine and writes it off as the cost of doing business.
Jennifer O'Connor August 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The Cole Bros. Circus has repeatedly been involved with unlawful cruelty to animals and a history of animal escapes and inattentive handling, which poses a serious risk to human safety. Recently, the circus agreed to pay a penalty of $15,000 to settle charges with federal authorities for more than ten charges, including failing to provide adequate veterinary care to elephants traveling with the circus and failure to hire personnel capable of caring for them. Last year, video was taken showing a handler who repeatedly struck an elephant using a bullhook (a rod with a solid, steel-pointed hook on the end), including forcefully hitting the animal twice in the face. Also last year, the USDA cited an elephant exhibitor with Cole Bros. for multiple violations of the AWA, including the use of "excessive force while tugging at" an elephant by digging a bullhook into her flesh. Finally in 2011, the owner of Cole Bros. Circus, John Pugh, pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act, and was fined $150,000 and placed on four years probation for illegally selling two endangered Asian elephants. The court ordered Pugh individually to serve three years probation, 300 hours of community service, an additional $4,000 fine and a mandatory $1,200 payment to an organization working toward conservation and rehabilitation of Asian elephants. People who care about animals will turn their back on this circus. Sincerely, Jennifer O'Connor PETA Foundation


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