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Under the Big Top in Oceanport

The Cole Bros. circus pitched its tent along Port Au Peck Avenue early Monday morning for three days of performances to benefit the Oceanport First Aid Squad.

Despite a couple of protestors waving signs on a far street corner, the three-day run of performances kicked off on Monday afternoon inunder the Cole Bros. circus tent with more than 800 fans in the audience.

"Attendance usually builds each day because of word of mouth," said Carole Connor, co-chair of the event that is a fundraiser for the .

Performances on Tuesday and Wednesday are 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.

Connor said the circus pulled into Oceanport in the wee hours of Monday and the tent rose along Port Au Peck Avenue around 5 a.m.

Aside from the show under the big top — which features elephants, tigers, French poodles and springboard gymnasts — outside there are clowns offering face painting and the chance to perch atop an elephant and go for a little walk.

Oceanport First Aid has a truck parked outside of every performance in the event their assistance is required, said Connor.

"But we enjoy doing this," she said.

Cj Ellie August 14, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Since the squad has a truck outside the circus just in case, here are some signs to look for in an elephant that has been beaten and under stress. The elephant will be swaying its body or trunk in a rhythmic manner while confined in their small pens. If you see an elephant with its mouth gapped open this is a sign they are in physical pain. Any physical wounds from having a bullhook used aggressively usually will be found on the left side of an elephant, behind their legs, under their chins, behind their ears. There is a product used by the circus industry called “Wonderdust” it is gray in color and used to hide any puncture wounds left by a bullhook, making it almost impossible to see. Watch Tim Frisco the elephant trainer touring with Cole Bros training elephants behind closed doors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iouGQD6lf6A

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