Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Shame of the Algarve

For 14 years, LAPS has tried to bring to the public awareness the shame of the Algarve, the many circus’s coming across their borders with live animals.

Protesting to the owners is a very dangerous business. In my more agile days I have been chased with weapons that at the time were being used to beating the animals.

2 years ago we photographed a polar bear, a leopard and the most heartbreaking sight of all, a small hippo. The first animal from the Artic regions, the second a roamer of the Savannas in its native land and the third an animal which must spend the daylight hours immersed in water until nightfall when it browses on land. Try and imagine the suffering in temperatures of 35 – 40º. These animals in a cage of 9m x 1.5m divided into 3

Last Friday I went into shock as Cardinali Circus in Lagos are advertising a White Lion, only discovered in 1975 and one of the most rare breeds. Maybe the circus owners would explain where this lion were obtained. This animal is also in a cage 3 metres long, animal societies state that this a cruelty in itself.

We have contacted the South African Embassy about this matter and who have helped us with advice and information. But the latest news was that the Embassy could do nothing! This was their response:

Dear Bridget,
I have had a chat with Linda Tucker and Jason Turner and obviously as it is out of our jurisdiction we cannot take any action on our part. But, what would be the most effective way to achieve action on your side, would be to get as much publicity about their situation as possible. The idea would be for a newspaper or magezine to publish an article on the way the animals are housed. The more awareness that is created of their plight the better chance there is of being abel to do something about the situation. I am sure that in Portugal, as in South Africa, people need to fulfill certain specifications with regards to size of property and facilities before they are granted a permit to keep that animals. I wish you luck in your endeavour to help these animals.
Warmest regards,

Anyone willing to help us in this protest contact Bridget Hicks on 282 687 334 or email

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