Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Removing Elephants from Acts by 2018

Photo by PoPville flickr user StreetsofWashington

Wow. This is a controversial topic every year when the elephant walk passes through DC. AP now reports:

“Animal rights activists were stunned when the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it would eliminate elephants from its circus performances by 2018.”

9 Comment

  • I Dont Get It

    Why does this take 3 years?

    • simple – its a business decision. Having worked at an arena that hosted RB/B&B, Feld typically has 2 or 3 circuses touring the country at any given time, each with a 3 or 4 year run. This announcement means from this point forward, they are not going to plan a new circus tour with an elephant act, however, they are not going to retool existing tours to remove the elephants – they would have to reprint all the programs, hire new acts to fill the time taken by the elephants, rechoreograph any sequence involving elephants, such as the intro where the elephants are paraded around, reassign or break contracts of the dancers who perform with the elephants etc,
      tl:dr – they are going to wait for the existing shows to complete their runs, which apparently is 2018, since that is what will incur the lowest costs for them.

  • epric002

    very happy to hear this is finally happening.

  • I’d bet this decision has less to do with animal rights and more to do with the high costs of maintaining and transporting elephants. Considering they cost $65,000 per year to maintain each one + fines + legal costs, this will save the company millions.

  • I think Brett is right, I don’t think they are doing it for the sake of the animals at this point… I imagine it’s more an economic consideration at this point. without seeing the actual financials I would guess that this is one of Feld’s less profitable ventures and they are cutting costs where they can.

  • A friend of mine used to tour with Ringling Bros. According to him, the elephants are treated better than the people. Apparently they import the particular hay the elephants like. I suppose some might say having these animals in captivity is inherently wrong, but I don’t think they’re abused or anything like that.

  • When do they get rid of clowns? Clowns are scary.

  • justinbc

    People still go to the circus?

Comments are closed.