Camel gives drivers the hump
A ROVING camel gave motorists in Fermoy the hump after it packed its bags in a desperate bid to say goodbye to the circus.
Motorists coming driving along the Old Cork Road out of Fermoy last Wednesday evening were stunned to see the camel, which had escaped from the nearby Courtney Brothers Circus encampment, running against oncoming traffic.
A photograph taken by a passing member of the public shows how the camel brought traffic to a standstill, as shocked motorists looked on.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Courtney Brothers have courted controversy in North Cork after locals and members of The Animal Rights Network (ARAN) picketed the circus when it visited Mallow.
They were concerned over what ARAN spokesman John Carmody described as the "closed off and cramped" conditions the animals were kept in.
"We are not looking to shut any circuses down. What we are saying is that in this day and age using animals under these conditions for entertainment is just wrong," he said.
Mr Carmody pointed out this was the second time a camel had escaped from the Courtney Brothers Circus.
"Back in 2012 an elephant from the same circus escaped onto the streets of Blackpool in Cork and in 2007 they had to dig two of their elephants out of drains in Youghal," said Mr Carmody.
Just this week ARUN posted video footage on YouTube showing tigers and camels at Courtney Brothers Circus circling their pens.
ARUN said the animals showed "stereotypical behaviour" as a result of their confined living conditions.
The latest incident bin Fermoy has prompted ARUN to renew its call for a national ban on the use of animals in Irish circuses and for the confiscation of all animals at the Courtney Brothers Circus "as a matter of urgency."
Mr Carmody asked if it would "take someone to be killed" for action to be taken to address the controversial issue.
"What is it going to take before the government does something to put an end to the suffering animals are enduring in Irish circuses? Nothing but an outright ban on the use of animals will stop this suffering," said Mr Carmody.
"Maybe it will take someone losing their life before the government takes action. It might be the only thing that forces them to take such measures," he added.