Ringling Bros. Circus to Remove Elephants from Performance

Bekah Redinger, Staff Writer

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The circus has been a popular family attraction for centuries. It has long been a performance that has kept people entertained with animals, gymnasts, and magic. But starting soon, one of the circus’ main points of interest may be phased out of the acts.

Elephants, which have been popular in circuses such as Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Bros. for years, are now going to be taken out of the popular show. Ringling Bros. had announced this in 2015, and planned to phase them out, having no more elephants in the circus by 2020. However, they have moved their deadline up, and are now saying that the goal is to have all 11 elephants in their secluded park by the end of the month.

One reason that Ringling Bros. will be releasing the elephants from performances might be the claims of animal activists. Many people believe that Ringling Bros. abuses their animals, elephants in particular, by beating and starving them until they perform a certain way. PETA in particular has been pushing for Ringling to take animals out of their shows for years, through their “Ringling Beats Animals” campaign.

PETA is also saying that the future of the elephants may not be as bright. While this is good news, the animals will be going to a Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC). Upon further research of this center, it does not seem to be a suitable place for elephants. The plan is for elephants to be isolated and chained, and not given enough space to live comfortably. Possibly, the plan will be to turn the conservation center into a tourist park, much like SeaWorld. However, the website for the CEC claims that they have many years of quality care for elephants, and can successfully care for the animals. Still, the site does not address the claims of abuse, and does not provide any information on the housing for the elephants.

Is the removal of elephants from Ringling Bros.circus a good thing for the animals? Or will it create a bigger animal abuse problem than was already present?                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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