Animal trainer Belinda McGahan  from Hudsons Circus. Photo: Nolan Verheij-full / Daily News
Animal trainer Belinda McGahan from Hudsons Circus. Photo: Nolan Verheij-full / Daily News Nolan Verheij-full

Animal-friendly circus rolls into town this Friday

AUSTRALIA'S newest circus is kicking off its debut in Tweed Heads on Friday December 27.

Owners Shane and Nancy Lennon began dreaming up Hudsons Circus in 2011, and it has finally come to fruition.

Mr Lennon said he was attracted to the Tweed for their debut because it had left him with a positive impression before.

"We'd (as part of The Lennon Bros. Circus) performed here in the past," Mr Lennon said.

"It was always well received.

"It's a beautiful location, which is great for us personally but there's also good weather for the crowds."

In case it does get too hot, Mr Lennon said they'd just installed air-conditioning to the tent.

Mr Lennon said the new act - boasting what he claims is the largest animal act in the country - has been put together over the last eighteen months.

Getting the logistics right was smooth sailing for the fifth-generation performer from Lennon Bros. Circus.

"The Lennon Bros. Circus dates back to the 1890s," Mr Lennon said.

"My family has been involved with several circuses over the years."

Mr Lennon said the new circus is named after Hudson Bay in Canada, where his wife Nancy lived.

Incidentally, the couple have since named their son after the act.

Mr Lennon said trapeze, wire walking, and aerial work would be on show.

He said between the 25 performers and 22 animals, the Hudsons Circus would have plenty to offer.

Mr Lennon said while some people will jump to conclusions about animal circuses, they hold animal welfare in highest regard.

"Some of our animals are actually saved from the abattoir," Mr Lennon said.

Mr Lennon said he has always been passionate about conservation and would hope to educate the public about their ethical treatment of their four-legged performers.

"It's always been very important to me," Mr Lennon said.

"I've seen a lot of different groups judge us for the way they perceive we look after the animals."

"They think it's all chains and cages.

"We're here with the animals 24 hours a day and they're in the public eye all day because there's nothing for us to hide."

Mr Lennon said the people who own, train and perform with their animals all come from a zoological background.

"They're all about conservation and education," Mr Lennon said.

Mr Lennon does agree that like any industry, the world of circus has evolved.

He particularly related to improvements in the way circuses move around.

"Just like the car industry had to start putting in seatbelts, our animal trailers now have airbag suspension," Mr Lennon said.

"When we travel, we stop every two hours to check on the animals."

Mr Lennon said they had recently installed a monitoring system so they can keep an eye on the animals at all times.

He said Hudsons Circus only travels with the animals they're going to use in the show.

Hudsons Circus will be in the park at Jack Evans Boat Harbour from Friday December 27 to Sunday January 26.

Tickets start at $25 for adults and $15 for children and can be booked at hudsonscircus.com.



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