CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - When the circus comes to town young and old alike get excited about seeing the show under the big top.
But, not everyone in Carbondale was anxious for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to set up their show at the SIU arena.
Several animal activist protested outside the building as thousand of circus fans made their way inside.
"They have to live in trailers and travel year around," said Amy Misner.
"Their training methods have not always been the best. And we just want to educate the public that the animals aren't always treated the best."
But, the shows Production Manager Jason Gibson says those allegations are way off base.
"We have a veterinary staff network all around the country," said Gibson.
"We have veterinarians on staff as well. We also have five veterinarians employed by FELD Entertainment our parent company, who travel throughout the three circus circuits making sure our animals are well taken care of."
The promoter goes onto say that the circus wouldn't be the same without the animals.
"Because people come to Ringling Brothers to see the animals. Millions of people come to see the show each and every year, and they want to see the animals."
Some of the circus fans in attendance for the final day of the action underneath the big top say, they disagree with the animal activist when it comes to how the animals are treated.
"All animals are trained by their owners," said Connie Cavins of Carrier Mills.
"I don't see why this is any different then someone training a dog or horses. I don't think it's abuse."
"I don't think so, with all the publicity today on all the animal awareness," said Vera Panzier of Waltonville.
"It would be unsafe for people to do that. And it's got so much recognition, no I don't think they're abused."
So the show went on as planned on Sunday afternoon, with the animals and clowns surrounded by their fans.
The circus moves to the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri next Friday.