Circus cows perform under the "big top"

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Lions, and tigers, and cows, oh…What?

Circus Royale in Australia has been in business for over 40 years, but just in the past decade cows were added to the traveling show.

The Australian circus act has three Holstein cows in their troupe of animals trained by Robin Howell.

"Circus Royale is the first to include performing animals of the bovine variety in its line-up," says Howell. "They are a unique attraction."

The cows do many tricks, including standing on a pedestal and then letting a Shetland pony run under their bellies.

Daisy and Heidi have been on tour with the circus for eight years, while Ellen-Rae arrived this past year.

Ellen-Rae was saved from going to slaughter when her owner, a dairy farmer in Western Australia, was driving her to the processing plant, says Circus Royale ringmaster Damian Syred.

"She was sort of one of their family pets, so he really didn't want to part with her,” details Syred. "He said if we could fork out the same as the abattoir, then she was ours. He said she was good at being hand-led and would come when called, but he failed to mention that she's a very good fence jumper!"

It takes six months to fully train the cows and when they were first added to the show there were four performing Holsteins.

Maybe in the future these cows will be taking their act to "The Greatest Show on Earth" at a circus near you.



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