Piccadilly Circus denied permit for Minneapolis shows

The show will not go on.

The show will not go on.

The "Elephant Extravaganza" is a goner and "Rocky" the 250-pound boxing kangaroo has suffered a TKO: The Piccadilly Circus has been denied a permit for its three-ring show at the Minneapolis Convention Center in May.

The issue, apparently, is that the circus owners ran afoul of some recent changes to the city's permitting process, which was put in place to make sure we don't host animal abusers and illin' beasts.


The issue here is not that Picadilly Circus may or may not have actually abused its creatures; its owners didn't meet the 90-day deadline for a permit application from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. Manager Dan Niziolek denied the application Monday and the City Council has backed him up.

But the circus, based in Florida, has been the target of a boycott campaign launched by Animal Rights Federation of Florida, which says that a trained--and allegedly abused--elephant named "Nosey" is part of the Piccadilly road show this year.

In a 2004 Iowa appearance, "Nosey" knocked a worker down so hard that he needed stitches in his head. And while traveling in 2009 with the Liebling Bros. Circus, "Nosey" was kept in crippling ankle chain for 10 hours a day.

That sounds like a miserable existence for an elephant that was originally one of about 60 flown to the United States in 1984 by Nautilus millionaire Arthur Jones.

"Nosey," and another elephant that later died, were eventually sold to the Liebling circus.