Circus performances involving animals have long been controversial in some segments of society. Circus Krone was long believed by outsiders to be a cruelty-free circus, but it has come under fire in recent years as a result of unjust living conditions for their most valuable performers.
Circus Krone, founded in 1905, is renowned for its multifaceted program and is now the self-proclaimed largest circus in Europe. Its home base has been in Munich since 1919, which is where the circus spends winters from November to April. The remainder of the year is dedicated to touring. While there may be applause from the spectators in support of the diverse shows put on, there is no applause for animal cruelty. Particularly not from the hands of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In an undercover search of various Circus Krone locations, including the one in Munich, PETA discovered that the living conditions of the animals in the circus are sub-par at best.
What is advertised as a roomy pen with an outside run for the elephants and horses is in reality a cement box with chains holding the animals in. There is no available space for outdoor roaming, which is a right these wild animals should have. Animal experts detected behaviors in the animals, such as lions pacing, elephants swaying, and dejected looking monkeys moping. These experts have asserted that these are signs of mental illness due to their being held in captivity. Videos of the animals' conditions are available on the PETA website, and these alone should be enough to question supporting the Circus Krone.
Other countries such as Sweden and Austria have recognized the issues and have taken measures in the form of strict laws to protect the animals. Thus far, Germany has done no such thing. The Circus Krone maintains their claims of fair treatment while PETA makes accusations of malpractice. PETA insists that they will not give up until their demands are met, which is nothing new coming from the animal rights organisation.