By Emilie Munson / GlobalPost
Lions and tigers and bears… no more.
A new law in Mexico banning the use of tigers, elephants, zebras, lions and other exotic animals in circuses goes into effect next week.
Some 3,000 to 3,500 circus animals will be freed from performing under the big top thanks to the law.
The question remains, however, what will happen to all of these animals?
For many circus owners, the animals will be too expensive to keep. One Mexican animal tamer estimated it costs around 3,000 pesos (almost $200) a day to feed circus tigers. When you add other costs like veterinary bills on top of that, keeping wild animals is a pricey expense.
Some circus owners claim the new law, designed to protect circus animals, is actually putting the animals in more danger.
“A lot of owners don’t want to give the government the animals that are their livelihoods,” President of the National Association of Circus Owners Armando Cedeño said. “Some are looking to sell them, and you don’t always know who is buying. Others are so desperate they are looking to put them to sleep.”