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Letter: Erie County Fair should do away with animal acts

Erie County Fair should do away with animal acts

The Erie County Fair was enjoyable except for three animal shows. “Wild About Monkeys” had a 65-pound baboon chained to a stool with a leash around its groin for control. When the trainer asked for a “kiss,” the baboon turned around and raised its rump to the trainer. Kids squealed with laughter. What’s our message to children about animal acts? These are wild animals, exploited for money and forced to do unnatural behaviors.

The trainer introduced a 21-year-old female baboon who “suffered a stroke and made a marvelous recovery.” (Baboons live 20 to 30 years.) I inquired about retiring her. He replied, “Oh, no! She enjoys this!” Photo ops with the “smiling” baboon were $10. The animals are housed in tents with fans running during the hottest months of the year.

The Reptile Exhibit had a camel, baby monkeys ($15 photo ops) and an 8-week-old spotted leopard. The caretaker claimed “she came from the Nashville Zoo.” I called Jim Bartoo, the Nashville Zoo’s market and publications director. He said they never place animals with individuals for breeding or profit.

Connecticut-based R.W. Commerford & Sons Animal Attractions (which owns three elephants for entertainment) had a sign stating: “Courtesy of the Fair.” Did the Erie County Fair financially support this crowded exhibit? Three saddled camels and a lone porcupine looked miserable, placed on asphalt for a 10-day duration. More animals remained in their tractor-trailer.

Farm animals belong there, exotics don’t. Start showing support to eliminate low-class animal entertainment.

Linda Jenkin Costanzo


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