Greatest Show on Earth to Go On Without Elephants

Photo (cc) by wolfsavard

The “Greatest Show on Earth” soon will go on without its elephants.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus revealed plans Thursday to remove its 13 Asian elephants from its three traveling shows. They will retire to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation by 2018, the circus’ parent company, Feld Entertainment, said. There they will join the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants.

The announcement came the same day a fight over the relocation of two Seattle zoo elephants appeared settled. The Seattle City Council said it would not block the planned shipment of the animals to the Oklahoma City Zoo despite hearing from protesters. Opponents included former TV emcee Bob Barker, who said no price is right for moving the pair of pachyderms anywhere other than a California sanctuary.

In Florida, Ringling Bros. said the “unprecedented change” in the 145-year history of its circus went along with changing taste of ticket buyers.

“We feel we have a responsibility to preserve the esteemed traditions that everyone expects from a Ringling Bros. performance while striving to keep the show fresh and contemporary for today’s families,” said Nicole Feld and Alana Feld, Ringling Bros. producers. “As the circus evolves, we can maintain our focus on elephant conservation while allowing our business to continue to meet shifting consumer preferences.”

They said Ringling Bros. will continue to focus on its Asian elephant conservation programs in North America and Sri Lanka to preserve elephants for future generations. The company said it has placed elephants at eight zoos, either on loan or through donations, and will continue to support a Smithsonian Institution research lab seeking cures for diseases afflicting juvenile elephants.

Animal rights groups cheered Ringlings Bros. announcement, but in May 2014, the Humane Society of the United States and co-defendants paid Feld Entertainment $15.75 million to settle a 14-year lawsuit they brought over the care of its Asian elephants.

“If Ringling is really telling the truth about ending this horror, it will be a day to pop the champagne corks and rejoice,” said Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.

Seattle squabble

In Seattle, the fight is over two female Asian elephants, 47-year-old Bamboo and 35-year-old Chai, who live at the city’s Woodland Park Zoo with a third female African elephant, 45-year-old Watoto.

Zoo officials said transporting the two 2,000 miles to Oklahoma would give the pair “a chance to join a larger social herd and ensure their long-term health and well-being.”

Barker and others urged moving the elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California.

“This sanctuary that they’re talking about is the nearest thing to an elephant’s natural habitat,” Barker told TV station KFOR in Oklahoma City. “It’s acres and acres of land.” He said Oklahoma winters would be tough on the elephants.

Seattle zoo officials said there is a tuberculosis case among the elephant herd at PAWS, where they have a 10-acre spread. The Oklahoma City Zoo affords the elephants more space than they have in Seattle, plus more elephant companions.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

From your closet to the beach, the trash you find may be someone else’s treasure.

70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question
70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question

Can you answer this fundamental retirement income question?

14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches
14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches

WD-40 is handy in a lot more situations than you likely realize.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.