Germany’s Roncalli circus has found a magical solution to animal welfare concerns by replacing live animals with holograms. Since 1991, Roncalli had already stopped using lions and elephants in its shows, but in 2018, they took the groundbreaking step of removing live animals entirely from their program.
Circus boss Patrick Philadelphia explained that the nomadic nature of circus life and space constraints had made it impractical to keep animals. Instead, they turned to cutting-edge technology and 3-D imagery to preserve the wonder of animals for children.
Using 11 cameras arranged around the big top’s ceiling, high-resolution holographic images are projected onto fine-mesh netting surrounding the performance space. The holograms, including elephants, horses, and parrots, appear vividly as part of the show.
The absence of real animals has become a unique selling point for Roncalli, drawing audiences who appreciate the ethical approach. Spectators young and old are captivated by the circus’s innovative performances, proving that the magic of the circus can thrive without live animals.
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