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Jackson memorial sideshow is a real circus -- complete with elephants, zebras and tigers

July 6, 2009 |  7:26 pm

Authorities are trying to keep the Michael Jackson memorial from turning into a circus.  But at the same time, they are preparing for a real circus -- the type with animals and ringmasters.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, which starts a five-day engagement at Staples on Wednesday, is scheduled to undertake the circus tradition of marching its elephants into town. A passel of elephants will start walking from Union Station to Staples Center at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Kathy Davis, interim manager of the city's Animal Services department, which issued the permit to Ringling Bros.

The circus has already trucked 12 tigers into place on a back lot behind Staples Center. Five zebras were spotted this afternoon around Staples. Ringling Bros. will also truck in three ponies and 30 dogs.

-- Geoff Boucher at Staples Center and Carla Hall