In response to dwindling ticket sales, Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey’s , announced today that the operation will permanently shut down the circus this coming May.
Closing the Big Top was greeted with cheers by activists such as Ricky Gervais:
At last, after 146 years, Ringling Brothers Circus is closing permanently! A victory for humanity. Next, we
The company informed their employees of the decision on Saturday night, following performances in Orlando and Miami, Florida.
In March 2015, the Feld family announced that by 2018, all of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey’s touring elephants would be relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, located in Central Florida. Just a little more than a year ago, Feld Entertainment announced that all the Asian elephants in their circuses would be retired to the center by May 2016, to join the elephants who were already there.
The Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation is working toward a world with more elephants and less cancer. In 2016, Alana Feld, Ringling Bros. Producer and Executive Vice President, stated,
“Our company and our family’s commitment to save the majestic Asian elephant will continue through our breeding program, research and conservation efforts at the Center.
Where the remaining animals will be sent has not been released to the public at this time. You can thank the organization for making this pro-animal decision and moving with the times, through the contact information here, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. As suggested by Animal Defenders International, consider writing a polite, short message, asking if they would allow the animals to be sent to good sanctuaries to live out their lives in peace, with no demands put upon them. There is also a petition here, with over 45, 000 signatures!
Though, in response to pressure, the organization made additional changes over the past few years, today Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society, stated,
“It’s just not acceptable any longer to cart wild animals from city to city and have them perform silly yet coercive stunts. I know this is bittersweet for the Feld family, but I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts.”
Per their press release, company chairman added that the Feld organization will continue bring their other live events, such as Marvel Universe LIVE!, Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!, to cities and towns across the country. Just this past week, their first-ever female ringmaster joined the troupe.
It’s estimated that 10 million people attended a Ringling circus each year.
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