AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - About a dozen protestors showed up Thursday night to the James Brown Arena, saying they want the alleged mistreatment of circus animals stopped, as Ringling Brothers makes its way to Augusta.
As the fun starts under the big top, these folks are trying to get their message across to the public.
"I think when people see the facts and footage on Facebook and other social media sites, they're shocked," said Brenna McEowen
People for the Ethic Treatment of Animals claims Ringling Brothers jabs and pokes circus Elephants with sharp, blunt instruments like a bull hook.
They also said the animals are forced to perform complex acts that are unnatural to their typical behavior patterns.
"Children don't want to see abuse," said Breeda O'Mahoney. "If you ask a child if they want to come to the circus, because an elephant was abused and beaten so it could stand on its head, that child would say no."
Ringling Brothers maintains their treatment is safe, legal, and follows federal guidelines for animal welfare.
Demonstrators said they hope they can make a difference by educating attendees on what they call, "abuse."
"If we change one person's mind, then we've accomplished something," said O'Mahoney.
The protestors said they'll be out there every night until the circus leaves town. The final performance is scheduled for Sunday.