Ringling’s retired circus elephants to move to conservation center
The Asian elephants, which have been at the center of a long debate over performing animals, will get a 2,500-acre, state-of-the-art habitat.
The retired elephants of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be moving to a spacious new home at a Florida conservation center next year, concluding a journey that began in 2015 when the circus’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, first announced it would be phasing out its use of performing elephants.
White Oak Conservation’s purchase of 35 Asian elephants from Feld Entertainment, announced today, creates what will be the largest community of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere, according to the organization. Construction has begun on a 2,500-acre (four-square-mile) habitat that is slated for completion in 2021.
The new refuge will let the animals choose among different landscapes—including wetlands, grasslands, and woodlands—and will be speckled with 11 waterholes, each big