Performing elephants, a staple of the circus for decades, will no longer be part of the big-top event. The elephants' final performances were Sunday in Providence. The circus announced it would phase out elephant performances as the public voiced more and more opposition to the practice.
The Humane Society is applauding Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus for its decision to retire the pachyderms. In a statement, the Humane Society said, elephants in circuses are often “denied the stimulation and social relationships they’d experience in the wild.” The advocacy organization hopes other circuses will follow suit.
Ringling Brothers' parent company, Feld Entertainment, operates an elephant conservation center in Florida, where many of the animals are retired.