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Barnum & Bailey release clowns back into the wild

After 146 years in the Ringling Bros Circus, many a Harlequin or Auguste will be returning to their natural habitat – a pie factory, the fevered imagination of Stephen King or a career in frontline politics. Until recently, wild clowns had been hunted to extinction for their garish pelts and distinctive Brad Pitt noses – with only the occasional rare sighting of a ‘Big Feet’.

The domesticated clown has been around for decades - be they managing NHS reform or organising Sunderland AFC’s back four, Yet many clowns are sadly malnourished with only a squirty flower or rubber chicken to gnaw on. Animal Rights campaigners have highlighted the cruelty of clown captivity, with disturbing images of Robbie Williams gurning and hurling faeces during a Take That reunion – although friends say this is ‘normal’.

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