Despite the ban on wild animals in circuses introduced in 2015, a majority of the House of Representatives decided in December that Buba could stay with the Dutch-German circus family. This makes the 45-year-old female elephant from Zimbabwe the only circus elephant in the Netherlands. The family would be attached to the animal and take good care of it. Buba no longer performs and lives in a spacious shelter.
The organization does not agree with the decision. “When the corona crisis is over, Buba still has to travel with the circus,” says Erwin Vermeulen of Animal Rights. “Then that old elephant is always dragged along in a trailer. That is bad. The elephant is used as a living billboard for a circus that is almost bankrupt. ”
The costs of maintaining Buba are 70,000 euros per year. But because of the corona crisis, the circus has almost no income. That is why some politicians argue for a ‘corona compensation’ for Buba and the circus. “There was a populist vote in the House of Representatives,” says Vermeulen. “But MPs do not understand wild animals.”
The animal rights organization wants Buba to go to a special shelter in France. The family is against this idea because elephants are herd animals and there are no other elephants there yet. But according to Animal Rights, the sanctuary has not been around for long and there will be other animals later.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality has announced that it will implement previously adopted motions from the House of Representatives. “People in the Netherlands are always free to object or challenge exemptions,” said a spokesman.
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