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VIDEO. The Muller circus accused of abusing its hippopotamus “Jumbo” after the broadcast of a controversial video

VIDEO. The Muller circus accused of abusing its hippopotamus “Jumbo” after the broadcast of a controversial video

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A video of “Jumbo”, the hippopotamus from the Muller circus, broadcast by the animal defense association OneVoice, has reignited the debate on animal abuse of which Muller circus people are often accused. But according to the director of the circus, the animal “is doing very well”.

The Muller circus, well known in the Pink City, is once again in the sights of animal defenders. On social networks, the broadcast of a video of the hippopotamus “Jumbo” violently banging its jaws against the walls of its basin, aroused strong reactions from Internet users. Through this publication, and other photos shared with the #SauvonsJumbo, the animal rights association OneVoice denounces the conditions in which the animal is detained, which it considers to be in “breach of the law”. “We have been following Jumbo for a very long time. We have shown that the hippopotamus’ pool is not suitable. The slope is too steep, he cannot get out of it as he wishes. He does not have access to the water constantly and lives most of the time in a truck. We showed the video to a specialist veterinarian. For him, Jumbo’s behavior is a sign of enormous stress”, denounces Muriel Arnal, the founding president of OneVoice.

For his part, Franck Muller, the director of the circus currently based in Trans-en-Provence in the Var, denies any mistreatment of the mammal, which, according to him, is doing “very well”. “It is true that the video is shocking. But he is a dominant male, he does this to mark his territory. When he is outside, he will mark his territory by tapping on the ground. Contrary to what the we say, he is not alone, he has a girlfriend. He can enter and leave the pool as he wants, a staircase is provided for that” retorts the latter, who claims to be the victim of “relentlessness” on the part of by Muriel Arnal.

For several years, a legal battle pits OneVoice activists against Muller circus artists. In 2019, “justice had ordered the seizure of the hippopotamus, but the police had to cancel in the face of the very violent reaction of the circus people”, says Muriel Arnal. “We brought in a vet who recognized that Jumbo was apathetic and depressed because of his living conditions,” she adds. Franck Muller confirms that he opposed the seizure of Jumbo. He denounces a “lack of knowledge of wildlife” on the part of the specialist who came to examine his hippopotamus. “He was a specialist in domestic fauna, cats and dogs!” launch the latter.

By 2028, keeping wild animals like Jumbo will be banned in traveling circuses.

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