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PETA squawks at Glendale circus

A dromedary camel hangs out in its pen as the Ramos Bros. Circus tent is erected on the Civic Center Auditorium’s parking lot in Glendale. The circus is in town through Monday, Dec. 3. PETA is calling on the city to revoke the circus’ permit.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Thursday sent a letter calling on Glendale to revoke a permit for the Ramos Bros. Circus, which is scheduled to run through Tuesday.

The smaller-scale operation doesn’t have the big animal draws, such as elephants, but PETA pointed to the brief escape last week of a camel from the circus across from Glendale Community College in calling for immediate action.

“The potentially fatal escape of a camel should serve as the straw that breaks the back of the Ramos Bros.’ welcome in Glendale,” Delcianna Winders, PETA’s foundation director of captive animal law enforcement, said in a statement.

Glendale spokesman Tom Lorenz said the city attorney’s office is looking into the matter, but officials feel comfortable with how the circus is operating.


“The situation the other day does not rise to the level of terminating their permit,” Lorenz said, adding that state and local agriculture and animal officials have checked the circus multiple times and have given it a “clean bill of health.”

After the camel trotted across Glendale Avenue near the Civic Auditorium after getting away from a new handler, passersby gawked at the scene, taking photos and videos. The camel was quickly captured by circus workers.

Lorenz said the Police Department has since stepped up visits to the auditorium.

Alex Ramos, a spokesman for the circus, defended his operation as one that employs dozens of people and entertains the public.


“This is not the first time PETA got involved in our business,” Ramos said.

In June, the city of Corona revoked an operating permit for the Ramos Bros. Circus after PETA showed that the circus was in violation of a ban on exotic or wild animals unless they are used in an educational setting, such as a zoo.

Carney Anne Chester, a PETA foundation attorney, said she hoped Glendale would not only revoke the circus’ permit, but enact a ban on exotic animals similar to Corona’s.

“It’s really incumbent upon the city of Glendale to protect their citizens and the animals,” Chester said.

Lorenz said the city doesn’t pass judgment on events that rent the Civic Auditorium, noting the recurring controversial gun show.

Ramos said he was tired of PETA pestering the circus.

“I don’t care what they say or what they do,” Ramos said.

Although PETA held protests against Glendale’s elephant-themed float in last year’s Tournament of Roses Parade, a spokesman for the group, David Perle, said no local protests were planned, but he left open the possibility.


“At the moment, nothing’s ever off the table,” Perle said.


Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.