MISSOULA, Mont. – The Jordan World Circus is in Missoula this weekend for the Shrine Circus. This year it’s a different show than in years past, because city officials banned exotic animal performances in city limits.
In 2015 the Missoula City Council banned exotic animal performances in an effort to protect the public from hazards associated with the performances and to protect the animals themselves from inhumane treatment.
Western Montana Shrine Club member Hal Gillet says he thinks this year’s show will still be a hit.
“I’d say we’re looking pretty good,” Gillet said. “They said no more exotic animals, but the circus is still a good thing for the children and community.”
The Western Montana Shrine Club uses money from circus ticket sales to raise funds for families with sick kids who need extra help. The Shrine Club will pay for things like lodging and travel expenses to get those kids to medical care.
The circus will still include acts like silk performances, knife shows, high-wire acts and motorcycle cage riders.
Missoula resident Devin Harbour says those are the type of attractions a circus should produce.
“I think it is good there’s at least no exotic animals, because kids love circuses, and performances and human acts are a big part of that,” Harbour said.
Gillet says the circus raised between $20,000 and $30,000 last year, but he fears without exotic animals this year may be their last.
The Shrine Circus’ Friday shows are at 3 and 7 p.m. On Saturday shows will be at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the door.