Ringling Bros. Closes Cruel Circus!

Ringling Bros. Closes Cruel Circus!

Ringling Bros. Closes Cruel Circus!

Because of your efforts, this horrible show won't go on! In collaboration with herds of activists, we took the "fun" out of watching grand-scale animal abuse at Ringling Bros. Circus. Thus, after 146 years of circus horror, the owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, said that the show will close permanently in May. Dramatically declining ticket sales, particularly due to the recent absence of elephants who had been used in the show, were cited as the primary reason. We credit your help in supporting us to team up in enacting legislation banning the use of brutal bullhooks in two states (Rhode Island and California) as well as an ever-increasing number of U.S. jurisdictions, that made abusing elephants almost impossible. Without bullhooks, elephants can't be forced to perform these "acts" and the circuses have no other practical way of dominating elephants into submission.

Now We Need Your Help!

What will happen to the animals used in the circus?

YOU CAN HELP by emailing or calling Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, and asking him to transfer all the animals who have served at the circus to accredited sanctuaries where they can live the remainder of their lives in peace.


PHONE: (800) 844-3545, 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday (EST).

You can also refer to this article or this article questioning the fate of the circus animal prisoners; we will keep a close eye on them but are at reasonably optimistic that they will have, at least a chance at, a far better life than being shipped around the country and forced to perform – and especially if you all contact Feld Entertainment (above). As for the elephants, as we reported, they have been transferred to the self-described “Conservation Center” run by Feld, or they have been and continue to be shipped to various zoos around the country; an issue we will be delving more deeply into the future.

There's more work to be done! Now, we must stop ALL the many smaller shows which still use and abuse endless numbers of animals. Shrine Circuses,and other venues such as Renaissance festivals, “rent” elephants and other wild animals from notoriously abusive companies such as “Have Trunk Will Travel” and “Trunks & Humps.” We must also continue our work to expose the cruelties of the largest dolphin shows on Earth at SeaWorld and other captive cetacean facilities, as well as the exploitation of elephants on public display in zoos.

We must expand our collaborative efforts to ensure that more comprehensive legislation is passed, such as the Traveling Exotic Animal Public Safety & Protection Act (referred to as the Federal Circus Bill), when it is reintroduced to Congress. At least 34 nations have enacted legislation to end traveling circus performances using wild animals. At least 27 states in the US, and almost 70 jurisdictions have already decided to either ban or restrict the use of wild animals in traveling shows due to concerns about public safety and animal welfare.

P.T. Barnum was known for saying “there’s a sucker born every minute” and we are grateful to those of you who haven’t been one of them. Activists like some of you, who stood outside of circuses educating the public about the realities behind the big tent took the “fun” out of the exploitive experience. Barnum also was the first to exhibit captive cetaceans, beluga whales in this case, on public display. This legacy of exploitation and abuse in the name of entertainment is coming to an end.

Thank you to each of you for for responding to IDA’s decades of action alerts and for showing up at protests to inform circus and zoo-goers alike, making calls, writing letters, showing up at hearings, and supporting us with the donations to help make this possible. The time is now to act and with your help, we can continue!

For an interesting article about ways in which this circus decision opens the door for us all to do more good work, read this.