A law that prohibits the use of animals in circuses will take effect this summer in Bolivia—a measure that frees the animals from captivity, but puts them in limbo as no clear plans have been made to facilitate their release. Bolivia will become the first country to ban the use of both domestic and wild animals in circuses, as similar laws in Costa Rica, Sweden, Finland and Denmark only rule out the use of wild animals or certain species.
Susana Carpio of Bolivia-based Animals SOS said the ban was made possible by the fact that the country’s circus industry is made up of small-tent operations and lacks a strong lobby.
The fate of many circus animals in Bolivia remains uncertain as neither authorities, nor advocacy groups have plans for the animals when they are released. Overcrowding at the country’s zoos bars that option and the cost of caring for the animals in sanctuaries is high.