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For The First Time In 130 Years, Elephants Missing From Circus

DENVER (CBS4)– For more than 130 years, elephants have been a part of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. But not anymore.

With their latest show, “Out of This World,” the circus owned by Feld Entertainment, is taking a step towards a human-only circus, much along the lines of Cirque du Soleil.

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

“You know, it was time,” said circus ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson. “And it really opened up a door for us to try something that American audiences have never seen before.”

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

American circus tradition has always had a focus on animal acts. But times have changed, attitudes have changed for animal acts and concern for the animals has grown.

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

“I think at the root of it is really a focus on conservation. I mean, as many people know, elephants in the wild are severely endangered,” said Iverson. “There are few organizations in the world that are legitimately combating the issue and we’ve been at it since 1995.”

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

The circus still features a lion and tiger act, a horseback riding act and a dog act. The show also features more story line, more thrill acts, more music and special effects.

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

“The show is the star. The show has always been the star,” said Iverson. “If you really think about it, it’s always the show that’s the star.”

All the elephants have been moved to the Ringling Conservation Center in Florida where they will live out their days.

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

(credit: Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)

The circus will be at the Denver Coliseum from Sept. 30 through Oct. 9.

Comments

One Comment

  1. AliceSea says:

    Sending them to the FL center is NOT saving them. FL puts them on cement slabs, chained, for the bulk of the day. Elephants in the wild roam up to 100 miles a day. The facility in FL is way way too small for the number of elephants they have. Although the total space on the center is large, the buildings etc. take up almost 90% of the space. A true sanctuary in TN offered to take them; but Feld Enterprises is just too stubborn and greedy. The babies are taken from the mothers far too early. Some of the elephants sent there have been sent to zoos or are loaned out to other circuses. They also are using them for cancer research. You tell me what relationship there is between human cancer and elephants who have a low incident=ce of cancer. Please, when the media picks up on a story, do your research before you applaud what is actually a poor decision.

    1. Bravo, AliceSea. Ringling’s Florida breeding and training compound couldn’t be more euphemistically misnamed. It has nothing to do with conservation–no elephant will ever set foot in the wild. Ringling is just sticking to its cruel business plan.

  2. Who does Mr. Iverson think he’s kidding when he says “it was time” for Ringling to end its elephant acts? More municipalities have banned bullhooks–heavy weapons with a sharp steel hook on one end that can rip and gouge and elephant’s sensitive skin–and caring people were fed up with seeing these broken animals forced to perform demeaning tricks. Ringling saw the writing on the wall, but not all of it. People are also tired of Ringling’s continued exploitation of lions, tigers and other animals. Until Ringling does the right thing and send all of the animals it exploits to legitimate sanctuaries, stay away. Every ticket purchased endorses the circus’s cruelty.

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