Stardust Circus lion trainer Matthew Ezekial with one of the stars of the show.
Stardust Circus lion trainer Matthew Ezekial with one of the stars of the show. Luka Kauzlaric

The circus is in town, but should you go?

IT'S the job every kid dreams of. Every day Stardust Circus animal trainer Matthew Ezekial gets face to face with lions, but he isn't scared.

Tonight at the opening night of Stardust Circus at the Gladstone Showgrounds, Mr Ezekial will be going through jumps, rollovers and other tricks with his charges.

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"I've always had a good way with animals," he said. "I like how powerful lions are, they could kill me at any moment, but they don't because of our close relationship," he said.

"One of our lionesses Zimby particularly loves it. As soon as I say hey, she's off, I don't even have to give her a command.

"We also have monkey, pigs, goats and ponies, flying trapeze and clowns."

Mr Ezekial said he loved everything about circus life.

"It's the lifestyle, and I get to work with animals, which I love," he said. "And I always wanted to be a clown, so that worked out well.

"You get to travel and see new places."

One of the youngest performers at the circus is nine-year-old Cassius West.

He will somersault onto the shoulders of his father, who will be riding a unicycle.

Stardust Circus ringmaster Adam St James said the animals were the biggest drawcard at the circus.

The grand opening is tonight at 7pm and the circus will be in town until August 31.

For more information visit stardustcircus.com.au.

Resident calls for boycott of circus

GLADSTONE resident Sandra Hetzel is asking residents to boycott a circus that has just arrived in town.

She is against exploitation of animals for entertainment. 

SPEAKING OUT: Sandra Hetzel is urging residents to sign a petition against animals in circuses.
SPEAKING OUT: Sandra Hetzel is urging residents to sign a petition against animals in circuses. Luka Kauzlaric

Ms Hetzel was invited to have a tour of Stardust Circus yesterday and said afterwards that she could see the animals were happy, well cared for and healthy.

But she said her stance that animals shouldn't be in circuses remained firm.

"I don't think any circus can provide an appropriate environment for animals," she said.

Stardust Circus ringmaster Adam St James said he wanted people to decide for themselves about how the circus treated its animals.

He said that although he respected Ms Hetzel's opinion, animals at Stardust were treated as though they were part of the family.

"I applaud Ms Hetzel for coming down and having a look for herself," he said.

"If anyone has concerns about how we treat our animals I invite them to contact us and come down.

"We have nothing to hide and are on public display all the time."

Do you think people should boycott the circus?

This poll ended on 05 September 2014.

Current Results

No, the animals are well cared for

76%

Yes. Animals shouldn't be used for our entertainment

7%

No. Circuses have been around for years

6%

Yes. It's cruel to keep wild animals in cages

8%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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