No more elephants at Ringling Bros.?

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will be coming to Austin in August. Photo by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
Elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will no longer be part of the circus act by 2018. Photo by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will no longer be part of the circus act by 2018.
Photo by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

I know there’s controversy about the circus elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, but when Ringling Bros.’ parent company announced that it was phasing out the elephant acts, it made me a little sad. I have fond memories of the elephants being the highlight of the show as a kid. And I remember watching the elephants with my children come down the streets of Austin one year as the circus came to town.

You can read about Ringling Bros.’ parent company’s decision here.

Two years ago, when Ringling Bros. came to town, I interviewed a third-generation elephant handler and was impressed by his love of these animals. I asked him all the questions: where do the elephants come from, what do they do to get the elephants to do their tricks and what happens after the elephants are no longer circus material? You can read that story here.

If the elephants are no longer part of the circus, what about the lions and tigers? What about the horses and circus dogs? Are we moving toward an all-human circus? Is that a good thing?

Where do you stand on elephants in circuses? Will you miss them? Is this a step in the right direction?

 


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