Startdust Circus monkey trainer Wonona West with Millie, her six-year-old rhesus monkey.
Startdust Circus monkey trainer Wonona West with Millie, her six-year-old rhesus monkey. Max Fleet

Stardust Circus shows off animals

ROLL up, roll up!

The Stardust Circus has hit Bundaberg with a troupe of performing lions, horses, miniature trick ponies, dogs, monkeys, flying trapeze artists, a thrilling teeter board act, dynamic aerialists and the crazy clowns.

Stardust Circus ringmaster Adam St James said the circus, which began in 1893, had evolved to become one of the largest touring circuses in Australia, as well as the oldest touring circus family on the road.

“We are one of only two circuses in Australia with performing exotic animals,” the fifth-generation circus performer said.

“Our lions are born and bred in Australia and we offer one of the only lion acts in the world where the lion eats out of the trainer’s hand.

“It takes a lot of trust on both sides to do that.

"We are a full action-packed traditional circus.”

Mr St James said it was rare that the circus encountered complaints about the treatment of performing animals.

“Many people don’t realise that we have strict codes of practice we must adhere to that is set down by the Department of Exhibiting Animals and the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

“We can be inspected at any time by a government body and, every time we have been, we have been praised on the condition of our animals and the size of their enclosures.”

Bundaberg Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the council did not take a position on the issue.

“All circuses are subject to legislation aimed at protecting animal welfare,” she said.

The circus opened last night at the Bundaberg Showgrounds and will continue with a performance tonight at 7pm, Saturday at 4pm and 7pm and Sunday at 11am and 2pm.

Tickets start at $15 for children and $35 for adults depending on seating.

Book online at www.stardustcircus.com.au or call 0418 247 287.



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