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The circus troupe that performed at the Bokkapuram temple festival in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve made the pony jump through fire.
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A pony that was part of a travelling circus was rescued by animal rights activists during the Bokkapuram temple festival in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).

As part of the celebrations, the circus was making goats and dogs climb ladders and benches and perform acrobatics, while the pony was being made to jump through fire, said Nigel Otter, Chairman of The India Project for Animals and Nature (IPAN). Mr. Otter, along with members of the Nilgiris Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), were informed of the performing animals and submitted a complaint to the Masinagudi police. They were empowered by the Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board to seize the pony which was emaciated and in need of medical treatment, said Mr. Otter.

Shruti Vinodh Raj, honorary member of the Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board, said that circuses that use animals have to register with the Animal Welfare Board of India and obtain a performing animal certificate. “There are strict conditions even then, which do not allow for animals to be made to perform dangerous acts or without adequate rest,” said Ms. Raj.

The pony is in possession of IPAN at their farm and is said to be recuperating.

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