11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 21


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

read, with great interest and sympathy, your correspon- dent's letter about performing animals. I also had heard, on the Wireless, of the religious service, held at Olympia, when the Bishop of Willesden expressed his belief that the training of the animals is done by kindness. I long to feel sure that this really is so, but cannot help wondering if the Bishop had actually seen the training or not. I have been told, and would like very much to know if it is true, that inspectors are not permitted to watch the actual training of performing animals. A few weeks ago I saw a picture, in an illustrated paper, of a bear being taught to ride a high bicycle. The animal appeared to be tightly muzzled and the trainer to be flourishing a stick. Later I saw another picture of the same bear perforining in a great glare of light. Can it be said that the bear is really • kindly treated or that anything but fear compels it to give this

performance ?—Yours faithfully, C. M. Euls. 17 Pelham Crescent, The Park, Nottingham.