Ringling Bros. announces closure

Animal lovers celebrate news that Ringling Bros. Circus to close

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On Saturday night, news broke that Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus would be shuttering “The Greatest Show on Earth” in May, after a 146 year run. Multiple outlets covered the news and animal lovers who have been hoping to see the end of the circus’ use of wild animals for entertainment have been celebrating ever since.

In a press release, Animal Defenders International (ADI) President, Jan Creamer, stated:

“After decades of exposing the suffering of animals in circuses behind the scenes, we are pleased to hear that Ringlings has finally bowed to public opinion – it was a mistake for them not to see the trend away from animal shows to human-only performances over a decade ago. Circuses can survive without the animal performances.”

Ringling Bros. cited declining ticket sales and a “shift” in public opinion about circuses as the reason behind the decision to end the long-running show. ADI outlined their findings as they worked to stop circuses from using wild animals to entertain people:

Studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that in the circumstances of a traveling show, circuses cannot meet the needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, spending excessive amounts of time tied or chained up, shut in transporters and unable to move around.The abnormal, stereotypical behaviors seen in circus animals, rocking, swaying and pacing, indicate that they are under stress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence has shown how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.

Ringling Bros. transitioned away from using elephants in their performances last May – a press release from Feld Entertainment explained how the move impacted the show:

Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.

(Photo via Pixabay free images)


13 replies
  1. Linda Szymoniak says:

    I wonder how long it will be before other traveling circuses in the US follow suit. Part of me is sad, as I have fond memories of going to the circus (when I was a kid and had no idea what went on behind the scenes). Now that I’m older and understand, I’m glad the animals will no longer be trucked from location to location and kept in such confined situations. I just hope they are retired to appropriate sanctuaries.

  2. Marsha Squibb says:

    Yes!!!!!! Hope the animal trainers NEVER work again especially with animals!!!STARVE you BASTARDS and live a miserable life!!!!

    • ellen cottone says:

      Lets get these shamed and soon unemployed animal trainers to work at shelters , kill shelters to get dogs off the red hot eutanisa list. and train the dogs for a verity of service dogs for eldery,terminal.tramatic cases,vets with post tramatic syndrom.
      dogs that detect sickness and desease, or dogs that keep watch in hospic. the list that dogs are capible is endless. but takes training. lets give these guys a chance to redeam them selves.

  3. ellen cottone says:

    PETA who worked tirelessly for 36 years. Maybe even the first organization to document pics of abuse and showed the world . With eyes wide open who could possable want to support barnam and baily or any circus with ticket buying and attendence. Now these animals will feel dirt under their feet for the first time in there lives. they will feel the sun on their face and they will run and play and swim and eat good food. They will live and lounge and goof off and thrive .And only perform tricks for no apparent reason IF they feel like it.
    All because each one of us here, spoke out over the years, signed petittions, wrote and sent shame letters and hoped and prayed and visualized this day for a life time.

    And Sea world thiis week also closing its doors and finally freeing willy.
    Rest in peace Tilikum.
    I feel so very sorry we couldnt get you out of the clutches of see world. as we stood buy and watched you suffer.
    But if its any help to you this will never happen again to any of your kin.

    The power of the peoples voice is powerfull. This country was founded on it.
    Lets all get together.lets go save some more animals left in terrable perdiciments at the hands of humans
    Were on a roll. Id like to see an end of this swimming with tiger cubs down in florida. this family has a road side attraction and she has been getting away with it for years. the tigers eventally get sick then sold to black market and there orgains are prised in asia and its sold on line as medicinals.

  4. ellen cottone says:

    Circuses should be ballet or a cross between say the lion king with acrobatics. ok keep the clowns but they have to fly thru the air with the greatest of ease.

    All circes are done here in the United States. We are concerned with curcus beyond our borders now please make your voice against these ongoing exotic animal abusers and exploitators.We can change the welfare of animals traped in captivity out side our country with your letters. Concerned citizens in other countries are standing up on the front lines, we also stand with them in our words, letters.

    The cirque du soleil got it right.this is the entertainment of this century.
    It is truely enchantment and wonder.With out the stink smell of a circus. Animals deficating and urinating from fear and stress while being forced to perform in load noises and bright lights.

    The wild thing about Barnam and Bailys circus is that they never changed their act in 100 yrs.
    Real theater, Entertainment changes all the time. The cirque du soleil changes it up all the time.
    and never has to strong arm an 13 month ( still a baby in tiger world) old tiger into sitting on a stool.
    If i want to go to a circus ill rent a move. Ill turn put it on mute and just shake my head in disgust.

  5. susispot says:

    I hope there is a real sanctuary plan in place for all these animals that will be of no use to the circus any longer. Not to end up in some backyard side show.


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