Workers at Zippos Circus woke up on Monday morning to find “animal abusers” scrawled over one of their trucks and across the entrance of the circus.
Animal rights protestors had been handing out leaflets on Wennington Green in Mile End on Sunday afternoon before the evening show.
The graffiti appeared sometime between midnight and 6am Monday when the circus workers came back on to the site.
The earlier protests had revolved around the use of wild animals such as elephants and lions.
Ringmaster, Norman Barrett claims that the circus does not use wild animals; it has five horses, two ponies and 16 trained budgies. He believes that protestors have a democratic right to demonstrate but they should not abuse property.
The manager, Paul Winston who refers to the spraying of the graffiti as a “vigilante act” said: “It will be very difficult to clean the foyer tent. The fabric, which is only a year old, will have to be sent back to the manufacturers in Italy. “
He also said that animals are very popular with the audiences. The sister circus currently does not feature animals and is a lot less popular than Zippos: “They were in Doncaster yesterday and only sold 100 seats whereas we were full house yesterday and on Sunday with all 900 tickets sold out. “
They will be performing their final show this evening before moving on to Surrey.
The police are investigating the incident.
by Seema Hakim