Traveling circus makes stop in Ocala for hundreds of people

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 11:14 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -There’s no lions and bears but there are tigers and tricks that brought families out to the Southeastern livestock pavilion for the American Fun Circus.

“Marion county is super special to us as we only live thirty minutes down the road,” said Ringleader Justin Loomis.

The group travels across the country to showcase acrobatic feats, stunts and animals. Loomis says his circus is his family.

“For me it’s a way of life and most circus people it is too,” added Loomis. “It’s more than just a job because we live here. We’re always here, we’re here 24/7 with the animals and everything. It’s just a wonderful way of life I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

A small group of animal rights activists beg to differ and they say the animals in captivity with the circus aren’t treated well.

“And the difference between them and the animals is they have a choice,” said Dee Gaug with the Free All Captive Elephants group. “They choose to be there. These animals have no choice and when these performers, these human performers leave the show they go home they have their families they have their lives. When the animals leave the show they’re placed back into trailers, into cages.”

To counter, Loomis says activists can only look from the outside and don’t know how they operate.

“Their belief is animals in captivity is wrong and I don’t believe that’s true for a minute. I’ve been working with animals my entire life. I grew up next to them. I know them. They’re my family.”

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