The Zavatta circus redesigns its show without wild animals

the essential
Representing in Albi until Sunday evening, the Zavatta circus now performs without wild animals under a law, effective in 2028. The troupe had to reinvent itself.

This is a page that turns for the Zavatta circus. For 8 generations, the troupe has worked with wild animals: lions, tigers and elephants. But following the gradual ban on the use of these animals, they are no longer part of the show. The Zavatta circus has already placed its wild animals in suitable structures such as zoos or farms. “We preferred to anticipate things and take the time to place our animals in good animal structures” explains Alexia, acrobat-trapeze artist and communication officer. “The announcement of the law was very complicated for us because we lost customers. Without animals, a circus is no longer a circus”, testifies the artist. In 2021, Parliament granted a period of 7 years to allow artists to place their animals. By 2028, no more wild animals will be tolerated in circuses. It was therefore necessary to completely rethink and readjust the show while trying to preserve the traditional aspect of the circus.

Adapt without wild animals

The numbers of monkeys, parakeets, big cats and elephants have therefore been replaced by aerial, dance, roller-skating or juggling numbers. The only animals that still provide the show are those considered domestic: horses, dromedaries, camels, ponies, llamas and poodles. But the place of the dromedary and camels in the shows is controversial. “In some countries, they are animals completely domesticated by humans. Their status is comparable to that of a cow in France which produces milk,” says Alexia.

But the artists admit that they would have liked to continue working with wild animals since for them, they represent “the essence of the traditional circus, the one that we do not want to see disappear”.

Without the traditional numbers of wild animals, Alexia would like to “bring a breath of fresh air by modernizing the shows”. That’s why this year, no red-nosed clowns will appear. He will be replaced by a new clown who comes straight from Mexico. To energize the show, almost no break is planned between the numbers.

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