Ringling Will Retire Elephants in 2018, but Is That Soon Enough?

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Posted March 5, 2015 by Kim Johnson

After decades of confining and tormenting elephants, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced it will phase out elephants from its performances by 2018. Executives at Ringling’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, said that a growing public concern about the elephants’ well-being, as well as bullhook bans and anti-elephant ordinances in several cities, led to the decision.


This means that because of people like YOU who spoke up, protested, shared information, and never gave up, Ringling’s elephants will soon be retired.

Circus Elephants Lined Up

For 35 years, PETA has protested Ringling’s cruelty to elephants. PETA also caught Ringling’s abuse on video and released a former Ringling trainer’s photos of the circus’s violent baby-elephant training practices, but we couldn’t have done it without caring people like you who took action.

ringling protest collage

For the next three years, elephants with Ringling will still be chained, hit with bullhooks (sharp weapons resembling a fireplace poker), and crammed into tiny boxcars. Many of the elephants suffer from painful arthritis or carry tuberculosis, and their retirement day needs to come now. Three years is too long for a mother elephant separated from her calf, too long for a baby elephant beaten with bullhooks, and too long for an animal who would roam up to 30 miles a day in the wild but who is instead kept in shackles.

elephant chained in circus

What You Can Do

Never go to a circus that uses animals! Continue to speak up for animals abused by Ringling, and urge the circus to retire the elephants NOW.

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