Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

The more I learned about elephants, the less I liked the idea of going to the circus. I’m interested in its place in the history of American culture, but times have changed.

After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May. The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise. “There isn’t any one thing,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.” The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami. —ABC/AP

4 thoughts on “Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

  1. Even if the animals were not treated in the way many have charged, that elephants need vast space to roam, and to develop family ties, is about all the reason needed. They are even going bonkers in many zoo settings. It’s pretty much like keeping killer Whales or any other creature that needs to range and roam. Pretty much like putting a human in jail and expecting them to prosper. I’m glad to see it end.

  2. I have mixed feelings on this. I get the concern for animals, in a huge animal lover. However I know several people who were part of the circus for years, had no reason to lie about animal care, and never ever saw or suspected anything like the past allegations. I do think it’s sad, reading the Owner’s thoughts on today’s children and their attention span. It’s sad that so many will
    Never experience anything beyond tablet devices and video games. We took our boys a free months ago when they came through and I’m grateful we had the chance to do so.

  3. They decided last year to retire the elephants. I wish they had announced it last year. Cyril and I used to go to the circus every year but we missed the last 2 thinking there’d be more. :(

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