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Actress Calls Attention To Animal Abuse Ahead Of Ringling Bros. Circus In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- A Hollywood heavyweight from Baltimore tackles an issue that's close to her heart.

Weijia Jiang explains why Jada Pinkett Smith is so concerned about some elephants coming to Baltimore.

She's an international superstar. But even from Hollywood, Jada Pinkett Smith keeps an eye on where she comes from.

"Gotta support the hometown!" Marty Bass said to her during an appearance on WJZ's "Coffee With" morning show.
"Yes!" she exclaimed.

This week,Pinkett Smith wrote a letter to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake about the circus, which is coming to the city later this month. It says:

"As a mother and proud Baltimore native, I'm writing in advance of the Ringling Bros. Circus' performances at 1st Marina Arena. Unlike me and other actors, elephants do not choose to perform. They are often violently coerced by Ringling's trainers with bull-hooks."

Pinkett Smith reminded the mayor of a city law that bans any "mechanical, electrical, or manual device that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering."

But the mayor is clearly not starstruck and implied Pinkett Smith has ignored other issues linked to Baltimore.

"We've reached out about homelessness, about school issues," Rawlings-Blake said. "I would have loved to gotten some feedback, support or concern about those issues that are very pressing to the city."

As for the circus:

"I appreciate the fact they continue to come to Baltimore. I've enjoyed the circus in March since I was a child. I take my daughter," the mayor said.

Ringling Bros. has fought animal rights groups for decades and insists in all aspects of animal care and safety, it exceeds all federal animal welfare standards set by the USDA under the Animal Welfare Act.

Ringling Bros. will be in town from March 21 through April 1.

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