Every time the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus comes to our town in the past few years, my youngest daughter, who dearly loves elephants, has to go. She doesn’t buy a ticket; she goes to hold a sign in protest against the circus’s use of animals. She and others like her can now celebrate a victory. The Greatest Show on Earth has announced that they will phase out elephant acts by the year 2018.
“This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers,” CEO Kenneth Feld said in a press statement. Feld’s 43 elephants, which form the largest herd in North America, will retire to a 200-acre sanctuary in central Florida.
"There's been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers," Executive Vice President Alana Feld told the AP.
That’s putting it mildly. Feld Entertainment, the circus’s parent company, has spent years fighting lawsuits and paying fines and settlements over the alleged mistreatment of animals. Animal rights groups are celebrating the decision.
(Image credit: Amy n Rob)