This week it was announced that circus owner Hugo Liebel had agreed to pay $7,500 to settle charges that he repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act in his treatment and handling of animals, including an elephant named Nosey. It was a case that ARFF had been closely following. It’s hard not to be discouraged by such a small fine.

But there are signs that people are becoming more aware of the suffering of elephants and other animals in traveling circuses. Last weekend, ARFF protested the Cole Bros. Circus in DeLand. Following one of the shows, a man who went to the circus with his son spoke on camera about the elephants. “It seemed a little awkward to see them being controlled like that, out of their natural environment,” the man said, and added that he went online during the show and learned that the circus has a horrible history. He thanked activists for being there. View the video here.