Meet Viola, whose life is a circus (literally).

She escaped from the big top in Butte, Montana, during her bath after a truck backfired and scared her. According to the Today Show, Viola's handlers with the Jordan World Circus had her back in her pen in around 20 minutes.

What makes this video so upsetting for me (and many who commented) is that these beautiful, wild, exotic animals should be in their natural environment or living in a sanctuary if the wild is no longer safe.

In more than 50 countries, escapes like this would never happen, because it's illegal to use any of these spectacular animals from the wild in circuses. There's a total and complete ban, according to the Federal Circus Bill, because of the animal cruelty in various circuses over the decades.

America is not one of these countries, rather it's a state, county, town, or city thing. So where do Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and the rest of New England stand?

Jerry Yulsman/cbaloga/davit85/Jevtic
Jerry Yulsman/cbaloga/davit85/Jevtic

The video of Viola upset so many people, since where you live depends on whether or not wild animals are allowed in circuses across the country.

Circuses can exist without this cruel practice of using animals in their acts. The US needs to ban the use of animals in circus acts!


As consumers we need to Stop supporting traveling circus’
So sad


Free Viola! It makes my heart SO sad seeing her run down the street!


THIS IS TERRIBLE!! Please let her go to a sanctuary.


Circuses can exist without this cruel practice of using animals in their acts. The US needs to ban the use of animals in circus acts!

Here's the video of Viola, frightened and loose in Butte.

According to the Federal Circus Bill, there are 112 partial or full bans in 34 states. This means that each city and/or county may have its own laws, whether the state has any or not.

A ‘partial’ ban or restriction includes restrictions on specific species, or types of performance, or certain uses of animals or animal management practices (such as use of elephant hooks.

Rhode Island is the only New England state with a full state ban along with California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.

New Hampshire is the only state in New England that doesn't have any ban anywhere, at all in any town, city, or county.

Meanwhile, here's the rest of New England.

Connecticut: Bridgeport, Stamford.

Maine: Bar Harbour, Portland.

Massachusetts: Amherst, Braintree, Cambridge, Mendon, Northampton, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Provincetown, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Topsfield, Weymouth, Wilmington.

Vermont: Burlington.

In 2009, Bolivia was the first country to ban all animals in circuses, with China and Greece following a couple of years later, according to the Treehugger website. The United Kingdom was next to ban all wild animals while still allowing domesticated, and from that was the domino effect where more than 50 countries passed complete bans.

I'm sorry this is your life, Viola. I'm so sorry we humans have let you down. Bills and petitions have been in discussions and circulations for years. Hopefully, the United States will one day join the countries that completely outlaw using wild and exotic animals in circuses.

Here's the rest of the United States.

Arkansas: Eureka Springs, Hope, Sherwood

California: Corona, Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, Marin County, Oakland, Pasadena, Rohnert Park, Rolling Hills, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and the state of California.

Colorado: Boulder and the state of Colorado.

Florida: Clearwater, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Margate, Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Sebring, Seminole County, Tallahassee, Weston.

Georgia: Fulton County

Hawaii: Maui County and the state of Hawaii

Idaho: Blaine County, Boise, Ketchum.

Illinois: Collinsville and the state of Illinois.

Indiana: Fort Wayne, St John.

Kansas: Douglas County.

Maryland: Montgomery County, Gaithersburg.

Michigan: Ferndale.

Minnesota: Minneapolis, Rochester.

Missouri: Richmond;

Montana: Missoula.

New Jersey: Bergen County, City of Clifton, Cumberland County, Hudson County, Jersey City, Passaic County, Vineland, and the state of New Jersey.

New Mexico: Albuquerque, Sante Fe.

New York: Greenburgh, New York City, Plattsburg, Southampton, Westchester County, and the state of New York.

North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Orange County.

Ohio: Cincinnati, Delaware, and the state of Ohio,

Oklahoma: El Reno, Mustang.

Oregon: Benton County, Clatsop County, Multnomah County.

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Sharpsburg, Whitemarsh.

South Carolina: Aiken County, Chester.

Texas: Austin, City of Denton, Simonton.

Virginia: Richmond.

Washington: Port Townsend, Redmond, Spokane.

Wisconsin: Dane County, Green Bay, Madison.

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