We're Over the Big Top or When Will a Performing / Circus Elephant Become a Thing of the Past

Ringling Bros. Circus Ends 145 Year Tradition By Sending Their Last 11 Performing Elephants into Early Retirement to Ringling’s Center For Elephant Conservation in Florida, But Will They Really Be Free To Live As Elephants? : Elephant Activists Think Not : Part 2

The following additional text in quotations is taken directly from the National Geographic Video “When Ringling Bros. Retires Its Elephants, This is Where They Live”

“In May 2015 National Geographic was allowed access to the Ringling Bros. Center for elephant conservation in Polk City Florida. Our producer was given a guided tour and escorted by a member of the staff.”

Stephen Payne : Vice President of Corporate Communications, Feld Entertainment “It’s a 200 acres working facility that was designed & to this day still is specifically for the care of these magnificent animals. They don’t have to walk 30 to 40 miles a day to forage for food and water so we think that this is an ideal environment to be an elephant.”

“…Well everything that you see now in a Ringling Brothers performance is a part of their natural behaviors. Elephants do stand on their heads, I’ve seen it here on many occasions. I’ve seen them balance on balls that they play with. Their training will continue because they are used to being around people and you have to work with them and they have to be used to people for us to be able to continue the valuable research.”


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Ringling Circus Elephant Doing a Head Stand.       Does this look like a natural elephant behavior?                                                               credit: CC Flickr


“Even though Ringling Bros. will no longer use elephants in performances, it intends to keep breeding them.” Nat Geo

In answer to Stephen Payne’s concern for elephants not having to walk 30 to 40 miles per day to forage for food and water: But isn’t it the natural instinct of an elephant to do exactly that? Have you ever noticed an elephant swaying back and forth while in shackles? These captive, chained elephants are slowly going mad (insane). Not to mention the discomfort of the concrete they are forced to stand on for hours on end each day. And (disease) tuberculosis TB is a legitimate concern.


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Ringling Circus elephants. Do elephants demonstrate this behavior in the wild, Stephen Payne? credit: CC Flickr


Where is your humanity and humility Feld Entertainment? You have taken the first step for allowing the Ringling Bros. Circus elephants to become elephants again. Give these elephants a chance to enjoy the rest of their lives roaming free (you have 200 acres yet they are still chained?) at a true sanctuary : PAWS  or The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee  .


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PETA Protesters : Elephant Activists credit: CC Flickr


Just let our elephants be elephants. Elephants should not be used as test rats or just be allowed to exist for the perpetuation of their species (Asian elephants belong in protected wildlife areas in Asia just as African elephants belong, protected from poachers / poaching in their native environments in Africa.)

Feld Entertainment has already shown they are listening to public opinion by the actions they have recently taken – ending their elephant acts from Ringling Bros. “Greatest Show on Earth”.

But their greatest kindness has yet to come. That “greatest show” will come when Ringling’s herd of elephants (40+ and counting) will be escorted to waiting and willing consorts in California  or Tennessee .

We’re waiting Ringling Bros.; the elephants are still waiting for this day to come.


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Walking Away : Ringling Bros. Circus elephants      credit: CC Flickr


Take Action:

PETA advises “tweeting at Nicole Feld (@NicoleFeld)—executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, Ringling’s parent company—and urging her to use her position of authority to take all the animals off the road and send them to true sanctuaries.” Ringling Bros. does not operate a “true sanctuary” for elephants. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and PAWS  are two true elephant sanctuaries in the U.S.


Photo credits: Featured CEC, fair use; elephant head standRingling Elephant Circus Tricks; PETA Protesters; Walking Away


Additional Resources:

Elephants Perform For Final Time at Ringling Bros.” at The Daily Mail (see final performance photos taken in Providence, RI)

Ringling Bros. Circus Elephants Pack Up Trunks For Retirement – Ending 145-Year Spectacle That Delighted Fans But Enraged Animal Activists” at The Daily Mail

The Center For Elephant Conservation owned & operated by Feld Entertainment (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus)

PETA Video : Ringling Bros ‘ Elephant Prison ‘ This is PETA’s view on Ringling Bros. Center For Elephant Conservation in Florida

PETA Article  “Urge Ringling Bros. to Pull ALL ANIMALS Off the Road & Se nd Them to True Sanctuaries!”

PETA  Victory! Ringling Phasing Out Elephant Performances….. This article exposes Ringling’s cruelty toward our elephants : with photos (some showing baby elephants being restrained under the threat of bullhooks) & video links

PETA Document on TB in Ringling Elephants



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