Ringling Bros. to Retire Its Circus Elephants
The circus will send its traveling Asian elephants to a conservation center by 2018.
After 145 years of featuring elephants in its circus acts, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced Thursday that it will retire its elephant herd by 2018.
"This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers," said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's parent company, Feld Entertainment, in a press release.
The company said it made the "unprecedented" decision to focus its elephant work on conservation programs. "No other institution has done or is doing more to save this species from extinction," Feld said, "and that is something of which I and my family are extremely proud."
The circus will send its 13 traveling