Monday, July 13, 2009

Rosaire Animal Trainers

Sometimes I can't just drop things. I did some digging tonight and discovered that the name of the trainers with the chimpanzee act I recently blogged about-they are named the Rosaires.

A recent USDA inspection of their sanctuary in Florida yielded no violations, and here is a bit of an excerpt from an interview about a documentary made about them a couple of years ago.

The complete interview made be found here:

AFI Dallas: Robin Bliley Invites You to the Circus Rosaire

Q: What attracted you to their story?

A: When I was growing up, the circus was magical and enchanting and the Rosaires were superstars. Many years later as a young adult, I saw the Rosaires perform again and was shocked and saddened by how things had changed. The huge stadium arena, with the 3 ornate and spectacular circus rings where they had performed in their heyday, was now a dusty rodeo ring in a small Texas field with a handful of people more interested in their beer and hotdogs. I wondered how a family, who at one time performed for presidents and kings, found themselves struggling to survive. I knew in my core that this was a perfect backdrop for a great story. The kind of story I wanted to tell. One full of drama, laughter, struggle and pathos. To me, the Rosaires are not just circus performers, they are circus heroes, going through Herculean efforts in order to make show dates, taking immaculate care of their animals along the way, all in order to put a smile on a kid’s face in the audience and continue their family legacy. I feel that “Circus Rosaire” captures a small piece of American culture and history that is disappearing before our very eyes. The circus will never be the same after this current generation of circus performers has passed.

Q: How rare are the Rosaires? Are they the only animal handlers that treat their animals humanely?

A: Fortunately, in my experience, I have never seen animal handlers mistreat their animals, however I do think the Rosaires are incredibly unique. Their eternal devotion and sacrifice for their animals is a beautiful thing to see. Along with performing in circuses and shows around the country, the Rosaire family is dedicated to running their non-profit animal sanctuary in Sarasota, Florida. Many of the animals they perform with are animals they have rescued. They are passionate about animal welfare and adopting exotic animals in need of homes, health and love. There aren’t too many people I know who would put their animals needs before their own, and the Rosaires do that.


~Tonia said...

That was cool!!!

~Tonia said...

I was telling my MIL about the Rosaires after reading this. She knew who I was talking about! She was raised in Fla in the 50's and 60's She could remember going to their performances. She mentioned their animal sanctuary. So they are known for their work with rescues even then!!