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At the council meeting, which included no testimony from Feld officials because they had no idea Galloway's proposal was coming, the councilwoman swore her ordinance would not kill the circus, pointing to successful Circus Vargas and Cirque du Soleil shows that use no exotic animals.
"I think Ringling Bros. could do the same," Galloway said. "They need to acclimate the same way. Children think 'circus,' and they still want to come, whether elephants are in the show or not."
Asked whether Ringling Bros. could still fill the Honda Center without performing elephants, Payne essentially answered that it's a moot question.
"We're not going to find out because elephants have been part of the entire history of Ringling Bros.," he said. "It's the No. 1 reason people go to our shows. Get rid of the elephants? Never!"
This article appeared in print as "Political Circus: PETA-vs.-Ringling Bros. war spills into Anaheim council chambers, where a circus-animal ban is proposed."