Ringling announcement an indicator of broader shift toward animal protection

By on January 16, 2017 with 446 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

It was the second thunderbolt from Ringling Bros. in the span of two years – a little more than a flash of time in the company’s 146-year history, but as dramatic and sensational as one could imagine. On Saturday night, during a long holiday weekend when people aren’t paying as much attention to the news and when most reporters are off duty, Ringling announced to the Associated Press that it was shuttering its entire business and brand come May. The company’s prior announcement, in March 2015, that it was ending its use of elephants and traveling acts had been remarkable enough. This was extraordinary, head-spinning news.

The biggest brand in exotic animal acts announced that there’s no viable future in that line of work. The parent company has monster trucks, ice skating, and other forms of spectator entertainment that are generating profits and drawing crowds. Those forms remain viable. But not elephants doing head stands and tigers and lions jumping through hoops.

So much of the public just doesn’t go for it any longer. The animal-based circus looks and feels archaic. What’s more, we now know about the social and emotional lives of these animals, and the endless privation for these creatures living in near constant confinement or tethered to chains. With other forms of entertainment available to the American public – typified by the circuses without animals, represented most vividly and compellingly by an elegant suite of Cirque du Soleil shows— why put the animals through the grinding travel, the long-term confinement, and the coercive training techniques?

As I say in The Humane Economy, if you are part of the old, inhumane economy – grounded on exploiting animals — get a new business plan or get out of the way. Ringling decided to get out of the way.

In the wake of Ringling’s first announcement, ending the use of elephants in traveling acts, California and Rhode Island adopted policies forbidding the use of bullhooks in handling elephants, demonstrating that government has a complementary role to play in ending such animal cruelty.

In the wake of Ringling’s first announcement, ending the use of elephants in traveling acts, California and Rhode Island adopted policies forbidding the use of bullhooks in handling elephants, demonstrating that government has a complementary role to play in ending animal cruelty. Photo by Alamy

This is a win for our entire movement – not just one organization. Opposing the use of wild animals in traveling acts united so many animal organizations, even though it was the top concern for but a few. Animal advocates have been banging away at the cruelty and the wrongfulness of animal performances for decades. But in the last few years, the steady drumbeat of argument that there is something wrong with the mistreatment and display of wild animals penetrated the consciousness of the country and ultimately exerted its effect as consumers simply went elsewhere. Ken Feld, the CEO of the company, said that attendance was dropping and that he simply didn’t see a profitable future for the company.

In the wake of Ringling’s first announcement, ending the use of elephants in traveling acts, California and Rhode Island adopted policies forbidding the use of bullhooks in handling elephants, and there was more in the works as a way of eliminating the remaining circuses exploiting elephants. This second major announcement from Ringling is likely to expand the hopes of animal advocates to do away with traveling exotic animal acts everywhere. Ringling had long been the most adamant defender of wild-animal acts, but with the company out of that business, it’s very unlikely it will continue to play that role.

The marketplace is leading the way here. But as California, Rhode Island, and a number of local communities have demonstrated, government has a complementary role to play. Generally speaking, government-based rules forbidding animal cruelty sweep up the outliers, and that’s as it should be.

A tip of the hat to the leadership of Ringling. They’ve been bitter adversaries of The HSUS for decades, but they’ve done the right thing here. It had to be a very difficult decision, given the immense financial and emotional investments they had in this business, but closing the curtain is the right thing to do — in terms of moral and economic thinking.

Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. PjDallas says:

    I’m so SO HAPPY for the animals! I protested Ringling for years here in Dallas, TX. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard this wonderful news! My thoughts go back to one of HSUS’ Genesis Awards where I was fortunate enough to have a heartfelt conversation with Tom Rider who, as you know, was an ex-employee at Ringling and decided to sound the alarm on their abuse of the animals. I know Tom is no longer with us, but hugs to him in spirit for using his life and convictions for good, so that this day could finally be realized.

  2. Diana says:

    Yes this is good news though I feel for those who about to lose their livelihood (no it isn’t easy to simply find another “job”)
    What has always concerned me more than Ringling Brothers are the many small, regional “circuses” that travel the country like the “Big Apple Circus” that free frequents the Northeast.
    I am afraid that they will simply fill the void created by RB’s demise and they treat their animals much worse than Ringling.

    • Tally Isham says:

      I live in NYC and am dismayed that the Big Apple Circus still uses animals. I’m hoping that the felling of a giant like Ringling is the first step in the domino effect of all animal “entertainment” entities coming under public pressure to adapt or go under. Roadside “zoos” remain a huge problem, too.

    • Chloe Hill says:

      When slavery ended, would you think it was right to say, “I feel for the slave traders who are about to loose their job.” ?

      These jobs should have never existed to begin with.

      I lost my public school art teaching job 3 years ago in a field that is sadly (unlike the circus industry – I’m not sad about this) dying. I didn’t expect people to feel sorry for me – I got back out there and developed a new career.

      I don’t feel sorry for people loosing their jobs in an exploitative and abusive industry. It’s time for these workers to do the same as I did – find other work and perhaps start developing some basic compassion for other living beings.

      • Diana says:

        So you are equating circus entertainers to “slave traders”? The acrobats, the clowns – they are “slave traders” as well?
        I feel for them as they try to find a new career, particularly the older performers.
        On the other hand, I have no sympathy for a public sector hack

        • Sherry says:

          I consider the human performers–acrobats, trapeze artists, clowns, etc.–to be free human beings with a skill set that will, hopefully, land them another job. There are plenty of Vegas acts and animal-free circuses that will likely to be thrilled to get acts with a background from Ringling Brothers, as that has always been considered “THE” circus.

          The animals were very much slaves, being forced to perform actions that were not natural to them. Anyone whose primary responsibility was to buy, train, and show off wild animals can certainly be compared to a slave trader–in legal as well as emotional terms.

          Remember that during slavery in this country African-American people were considered to be legally exactly the same as “other” livestock. In fact, they had fewer rights than the animals in a circus today, as there were no “animal cruelty laws” to protect them, much less any laws that protected them as human beings. They could be bought, sold, worked to death, beaten to death, bred at the owner’s wishes. Their children could be separated from them at birth or shortly after and sold far away so that their mothers and fathers would never see them again.

          All those things are true today of the ‘wild’ animals in circuses, except that there are SOME state and federal laws prohibiting the worst excesses of cruelty–if the perpetrators get caught. I’m sure some of those who cared for these animals did have feelings for them. Those who do have care and compassion for animals, hopefully, will look for jobs at sanctuaries and places where the animals will be able to run free and live as they were intended to.

      • R says:

        Well said !!! This type of abuse should Never have existed to begin with. Thank u.
        When we developed the automobile, horse dealer lost their job too. I don’t hear any complaining about that.

      • Evangeline says:

        Very well said.

    • Nancy says:

      You are right on all

  3. Deedee Dillingham says:

    Right on, Wayne! An exponentially great win.

    Money talks. Consumerism talks.

    This is one of the biggest highlights of my 17 yrs. of animal advocacy, along with the end of killer whale shows at Sea World. Wow..and wow.

  4. Donald McClelland says:

    Please dont flatter yourselves too much! The public is slowly seeing through your lies and bs. Your day is coming! Yahoo!

  5. Robynne Catheron says:

    Thank you for this good news. I’m thrilled to see the circus fade into the sunset.
    I hope rodeos will soon follow suit. We should have learned by now that terrifying, traumatizing, and causing pain and injury to calves, steers and horses shouldn’t be entertainment.

    • Shawn says:

      Any body and everybody can say what they want about the Circus or any Circus at that. However until you have actually sat down and spoke with animal control officers and circus staff so that you can understand the care for these animals. You really can’t say shit because you have cats, dogs, and horses that live with you in your homes to this day. So leave the Circus alone.

  6. VeganInVegas says:

    Is it true the elephants at that Florida sanctuary will still be used for some sort of cancer experiments?

  7. Meaghan Simpson says:

    WOW! About time really after all these years Ringling Circus plans to retire their wild animals circus business. Now my immediate concern is what is the plan for transitioning all the heritage wildlife animals that have been trapped in the Ringling Circus industry/prison? We need to ask Ringling, “where do we go from here?” And then be prepared to offer some wonderful suggestions of contacts and offers for a very happy healthy “retirement” for the animals… To ideal pristine sanctuaries suited to their holistic health…?

    I do not know how Ringling plans to shut down and retire so many such animals… Please HSUS this story must have a series of follow through documentaries of the lives and blessed transitions of these animals.
    It seems an immense task that begs for integrative methods and expertise from various humane animal trainers and facilitators in cooperation finding
    new homes for them. Please keep us posted on HOW animals will be really rescued from lifetime of such captivity…like the animals will not be just held in lonely zoo prisons… What an incredible project with many criteria and details. Oh I hope and pray HUMANEity can manifest blessed solutions!

  8. Doris Muller says:

    A standing ovation to *all* the animal advocate agencies who never gave up the fight on behalf of all the defenseless animals. Applause also goes to the public for changing how they see, and who stopped supporting this tradition of legal animal abuse.

    And to the profit mongering leadership of Ringling, I gladly say good riddance! They got what they deserved! Their decision wasn’t based on “doing the right thing.” Their decision was based purely on profit loses.

    “In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.”–Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines

    It truly is one small step for man and one giant leap for the animals.

  9. Peter Hood says:

    “A tip of the hat to the leadership of Ringling… they’ve done the right thing here.” That’s hard to accept.

    This is purely a financial decision, made in context of a growing number of municipalities enacting ordinances limiting use of tools of abuse within their borders. Surely, more focus on that would be inevitable, and drafting a schedule several years out was becoming difficult.

    Feld Entertainment has worked mightily these last decades, to deflect criticism about its techniques of animal “husbandry” and to hide abuse of its “training” methods from the public. That likely has consumed as much effort as devising new acts to keep the circus “fresh.” The choice to end is economic and nothing more. It’s fine to try and find a civil means of reacting to this announcement, but concluding this essay with concern for the “emotional investments they had in this business” is simply not necessary.

  10. stan123 says:

    Wonderful news! Do you know what’s going to happen to the animals they have? Are they going to retire them all to reputable sanctuaries i.e. Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee? Since they’re going out of business I don’t see how they can keep the animals that they have. Thank you.

    • Vaishali Honawar says:

      Hi, I am the blog editor of A Humane Nation. Thanks for your inquiry about Ringling’s animals. According to Lisa Wathne, Captive Wildlife Manager at The HSUS, when Ringling retired its elephant acts last year, the circus sent the elephants to its Florida compound, where they are likely confined to small paddocks, chained, and handled with bullhooks. Ringling has since transferred a few of the elephants to zoos.

      Ringling doesn’t own most of the other animals who perform in its shows. The big cat acts, as well as many of the other animal acts, are sub-contracted by Ringling. Those animals will likely end up with their trainers performing with other circuses or venues such as fairs. That said, we encourage you to contact Ringling at customerservice@feldinc.com and urge the company to retire the elephants to true sanctuaries and to use its influence to urge its contractors retire the tigers and other animals to appropriate sanctuaries.

      The HSUS will continue working to change state and local laws to ban the use of elephants and other wild animals in traveling shows. To date, California and Rhode Island have banned the use of bullhooks on elephants and more than 120 other localities have some type of restriction of performing animal acts. Our goal is to see many more laws passed in the near future so we can see an end to this outdated practice.

      • Andrea says:

        Vaishali, thank you for clarifying. I think this would deserve a blog post on its own to clear up any confusion about where these animals go. Most people are not aware of the subcontracts.

  11. Kathy Ingallinera says:

    Many are asking, what will happen to the animals? Hoping they will go to sanctuaries and not be sold to other countries that still exhibit exotic animals for profit.

    • Tracey Sandilands says:

      Wonderful news, but I’m also concerned about what happens to the animals in their possession when they shut down? Can we get some info on that?

      Thanks for all you do.

  12. Michelle Phillips says:

    O’ Happy Day! Any information regarding the animals’ retirement situation?

  13. Cynthia Marrs says:

    Where will their animals go now? Who will take care of them?

  14. ernest worthman says:

    thank you soooo much for all the persistence and hard work your organization did to end this travesty. this will be one of the greatest accomplishments of the 21st century!

  15. Peter Bush says:

    What happens to the animals that is considered legally to be property of a business “going out of business” sale. Cosy to house, feed, vet care et al? Can HSUS speak to that reality?

  16. James Santasania says:

    What happens to all the animals now? Do you have designated homes for them? I hope all the elephants will be kept together since they are animals that know and love each other and depend on one another. They shouldn’t be separated, that would be a cruel injustice to them and to the other animals also.

  17. Cheryl Ruppert says:

    What happens to the animals now? Where are they going?

  18. Barbara Kelley says:

    I am so happy for this news. This is something I have been praying about for many many years. I hate even imagining what those beautiful animals had to go through. They deserve so much better. People that use animals in this manner should be ashamed of themselves. I personally feel that any one that uses any animal to make money should be punished to fullest extent of the law. God did not intend for his creatures the be treated this way!

    • Stephanie says:

      I teach people about horses for a living. I show them how horses live and behave, and teach them gentle, respectful ways to ask horses to do various things. My goal is to show people that there are better ways to be with horses – that whips, spurs, bits, and other things that cause pain to get results are completely unnecessary and (while admittedly effective in training) cause the horses, understandably, to feel very uncomfortable and to dislike the people working with them.

      People pay me to teach them about these things. Please consider that not everyone who works with animals and earns a profit in doing so is causing harm. Some of us seek genuine cooperation with our animals, and strive to work with them in ways that benefit them as much as us.

  19. Debra says:

    This is great news for all these animals who can have a second chance in life and not be treated badly any more.

  20. Marsha Willner says:

    Your circus is coming to Chicago I read Not happy I thought it was to be no more!!! Hope the animals are treated with loving care I will not see the circus I worry about our endangered elephants and tigers and lions

  21. ray lalonde says:

    Excellant..I love it..no more abuses by this company..animals are not ours to abuse and mistreat for other peoples enjoyment..animals need to be left alone

  22. Deb says:

    I am thrilled they are closing. I am sorry for the people who are losing their jobs and I hope they find suitable employment. My main concern. Are the remaining animals going to sanctuaries.

  23. Ivonne Delgado says:

    What will happen to the remaining animals?

  24. Blake Cash says:

    Once again Ringling Brothers displays more class than HSUS.

    “Victory”? I am certain you feel that the ends justify the means, making unsubstantiated accusations, for which you paid millions of dollars in settlements to Barnum and Baily. They placed their animals in sanctuaries due to your harassment, and you take “credit” for their grace.

    Now hundreds of humans are without a job. How humane could you be? Millions of children will never see animals and humans working together. Great influence for future preservationists.

    The big, humanely run circus is gone, leaving only the small unregulated hucksters. You could have gone after the problem, but you chose to chase headlines.

    • Tally Isham says:

      While it is certainly unfortunate that many people will be out of work, it seems odd and unfortunate that the exploitation of creatures who never chose to be roped into performing for humans’ financial gain is seen as justifiable or even conscionable. There has to come a time when we all say, “enough.” Natural resources might seem they’re there for any human’s taking, but that is not in fact the case.

    • Peter Hood says:

      The accusations are “unsubstantiated”? Then why did Feld pay a civil penalty to the USDA of $270,000 for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating from June 2007 to August 2011. Personally, I am happy that “hundreds of humans are without [jobs],” as they have made their living abusing animals for profit. There is a special place for Kenneth Feld and his ilk in the afterlife, and deservedly so.

    • Andrea says:

      Blake Cash – please read ‘The Cruelest Show on Earth’ by Mother Jones from 2010. Nothing humane about that circus. Many elephants died under their ‘care’. You can also view all the documents verifying the constant abuse and whipping.
      Without these cruel tools like the bullhook, circuses cannot exist. Banning these practices helped.

    • Carol says:

      YES VICTORY! I pray that these poor tortured animals are in sanctuaries but I fear that they will just be sold into slavery as you say, to some other small unregulated barbaric torture circus.
      Ringling Brothers humanely run? Children will never see “humans and animals working together”? Seriously? Wow, all I can say is, THANK YOU HSUS for your persistent harassment . I cried when I heard the news. The small hucksters clock is also ticking . The time is coming when all humans will evolve enough to know that all living creatures deserve to be treated with respect and love and at least be allowed to live in their natural habitat.
      All I can say is , HSUS DOES DESERVE ALL THE CREDIT! and I will always be a supportive member.

      Thank you again HSUS, God Bless

      P.S. Sorry, I have no sympathy for the people who torture animals, lost their jobs.

    • Tawnya says:

      You seem old with old ideas that animals don’t feel. Luckily the generations of the future realize this and your comments mean nothing to them. Thankyou for making them spend more money for something that matters. Just get out of the way and live your old school life without animals or comments.

    • Richard says:

      Hey thanks, I ‘ve seen the elephant’s in the circus and I have seen them being cared for and loved behind the scenes, I’ve seen how they where embassador’s before the people who never saw a elephant before they saw them in a circus and now there is one less way to bring attention to how interesting they are and how they can interact with humans which like it or not, makes them vauleable to society. Without being part of the average people’s lives not just some mythical beast that lives in a country most people will never see and therefore will not care about. Not many people will shell out money for the protection of them. I have seen elephant’s in zoo’s along with other animals and the purpose of educating humans is met but there is rarely any interaction between human and animal. I have to wonder if the animals feel a need for some purpose in their life. I seem to think that HSUS is more about making money for the Executive and Administration to increase their paycheck then to help animals. How much do you make ? How much goes to improving condition of animals

      Amen , They won’t talk about Ringlings being ambassador’s and advocates for the elephant’s They even had trading class for humane officers on what to look for during inspection of circus animals.

    • Callie says:

      Oh Blake,
      Where do I even begin with someone as ignorant as you.
      There was, and never will be anything “classy” about Ringling Bros.
      The humans and animals were never “working together”, animals
      were abused by their “trainers”. The circus was NEVER humane. Lastly, there is nothing sad about
      animal abusers and other animal exploiters losing their jobs.
      Good riddance!!!!

  25. jennifer stavros says:

    happy feel bad for animals. hate to see them suffer. hope they have a good life whats left of it.

  26. Edie Faylor says:

    It is high time to close down any so called entertainment venue involving live animals. Now onto the nasty side shows across America where there are no regulations and the animals are kept in deplorable conditions. No excuses acceptable. Shut them all down.

  27. Elaine Eudy says:

    Awesome!!!! Fantastic news for the helpless animals!!!!! Thrilled with this news! We must continue our campaign for the animals! Yay!?

  28. Marion says:

    Although I was pleased to hear the Ringling Brothers will be closing in May. I am concerned that they have made proper arrangements for the animals currently in the shows. I hope that they will be going to reliable facilities to live out their days in peace and harmony.

  29. Elaina Garone says:

    This is such great news ! Id like to know what provisions are being made for placement of the animals that have been part of the circus ?

  30. Ronnie Perl says:

    I agree with this 100%! I am sick
    Of the human race for using our fellow animals as if they have no pain or feelings!
    It is time to end this all over the World!
    Fight for this everyone!
    Making money off the ones who have no voice is horrendous and ungodly!

  31. leslie fox says:

    IMPORTANT for the public to know…….What will happen to all these animals?
    Their welfare should be followed by Animal Welfare Groups.

  32. Linda says:

    I give thanks for this. Blessings on those majestic animals.

  33. Jennifer flynn says:

    This is fantastic news, let’s hope other circuses around the world adopt the same attitude.

  34. Sharon Was says:

    Thank God these animals will suffer no more. I hope they find a beautiful place to live the remaining years of their lives. Praise the Lord! Thank you Ringling for making the right decision.

  35. Barbara Newcomer says:

    I was delighted to hear Tingling Brothers circus is closing. It gives me hope that we are being heard, finally!! Thank you for all you do.

  36. Laurie says:

    Who is going to handle all of those animals? Will they all go to rehab locations? They can’t be sent out in the wild due to being born in captivity. Is this really a win? Is the HSUS prepared to pay for the long term care of these animals? At least in the circus, which I’m against, they were feed and cared for. Perhaps this was a short sighted win. These poor animals, which could be thousands, could fall into worse hands over time. They can live for decades and are expensive. It’s truly a win if there is a long term plan, hopefully all of these circus animals won’t be forgotten. Maybe all the people who have been loudly against it can help by donating, put their money where there mouth is. That’s what I have done for HSUS for decades, donate money to the causes that have meaning to me. Thank you.

    • Tally Isham says:

      And abused kids are better off being kept with their abusers because that’s the only environment they always knew? That’s a strange argument. We don’t know what’s happening to the animals yet, so jumping to the conclusion that they’ll be dumped somewhere hazardous is premature.

      • Renee says:

        Seriously you want the children who are abused to be with their abusers because its better for them!! Do you know what abuse does to children ? Let alone to animals !

  37. steve Nadel says:

    I am against animal cruelty as much as anyone, but wasn’t there a compromise that could meet the proper treatment of the animals as well as have Ringling make a profit?

    • Tally Isham says:

      They have other entertainment entities that are earning profits. Why do the animals have to subsidize the circus with their lives? When I lived in the South, a Ringling train would be parked near my house in the hot summer sun and humidity for days. Guess who was kept in that un-airconditioned train? Not the people, that’s for sure.

  38. nancy botwin says:

    So where are their animals going and who will care for them?

  39. Helen says:

    This is the most amazing news!!! I can’t stop smiling because I know its the beginning of the end for animal shows. We can thank organizations like HSUS, social media for exposing the horrors and we can thank each other for making our voices heard over and over again till the right people listened. The animal revolution is here and gaining speed every day. The animals deserve to be treated the same as humans because this is their planet too. I am so happy about this and I can’t wait to see what else we can all do for the animals with our voices. Thank you HSUS for everything you do every single day. I love, love, love you!!!!!!!

  40. John Nimitz says:

    I’m concerned about what might happen to all the other animals Ringling Brothers still have. Hopefully none will be dumped or put down. Will the HS be involved in this issue?

  41. lynne denis says:

    As I am sure every animal lover agrees – this was a long time coming. Thank goodness it is over! Thank you Humane Society for playing a huge part in bringing this to fruition! I only hope these poor animals can find peace for the rest of their lives at a safe sanctuary.

  42. Heather says:

    What will become of the animals that they currently own?

  43. vicky marbourgh says:

    I came from a generation that went to the circus. As a child you do not realize the impact of this situation,as a circus, on what these animals have to endure. All animals have feelings. This was of course an unnatural life for them, and of course enduring the pain that went along with it. I am thrilled about this decision. Thanks to the Humane Society,Peta, and all other groups that have fought so long and hard for animal rights.

  44. Helen says:

    The entertainment part of SeaWorld is next!!!! Hopefully!!!!!

  45. Pat Tuson says:

    Do we know how the animals will be cared for once freed from the circus. please?

  46. Debbie Sides says:

    I was so happy to hear that the animals will finally live out the remainder of their lives in sanctuaries. I wrote a letter to my senator to prohibit use of animals in circuses. I’m making more donations to various animAL rescues to include HSUS of course.

    Thank you all for your dedication and compassion.


  47. Margie Brady says:

    I must have been four or five when my parents took me to a circus thinking it would be a big milestone in my life. I was horrified! Nor only was I afraid for the animals but for the people who risked their lives needlessly on bars and trapezes. My first time at a circus was the last.

  48. Nancy Raymond says:

    My concern is where these animals are going to be relocated to when this hell hole closes? I just received a post on 1/16/17 that the elephants Ringling Bros retired are going to be sent to be used for cancer research and if this is true I find it appalling. All the animals this miserable circus used, tortured and made money off of need to be sent to authorized sanctuaries – not used for sewer science so called ‘research’. These animals deserve to spend the remainder of their lives living in a peaceful, friendly environment, not being tortured again by Ringling Bros.

  49. Matt. Hillhouse says:

    Probably a good thing to stop using animals in this type of show even though it’s neat to see them but you have to look at the critters point. Hats off to Barnum & Bailey circus shows. I don’t really know for sure if the animals didn’t like doing this stuff I hope they were treated well now they can go live their lives out on a nice sanctuary and enjoy life the way they want.

  50. Maria Celia Hernandez says:

    I believe that Circus can create entertainment without using animals. In the past circuses were able to make children laugh and enjoy their y=time watching clowns, ,magic and other nice and not dangerous for the persons who were the starts.
    The circus don’t have to close for good their doors .Just don’t use wild animals. .Training animals didn’t need to be abuse so bad, for them to be good actors.
    MCH 1-17-2017

  51. Isela Gonzalez says:

    I couldn’t be more happy about the circus closing it’s doors!!! Such a display of human ignorance at a wild animals expense is so sad. Too bad this didn’t happen years ago!!!

  52. Lynn Garman says:

    I don’t know how many animals are involved in this good news. Will all available sanctuaries be swamped for years trying to take in these poor creatures so they can live somewhat normal lives after years of deprivation? Or will Ringling be allowed to sell them off to smaller, even less principled roadside circuses and zoos for profit? I’m just wondering what you know of Ringling’s plans for these animals?

  53. Lauran Childs says:

    It (the decision) didn’t have anything to do with their hearts. They were losing money, the lack of sales at circuses and negative publicity was affecting the rest of their brand, and they decided to cut their losses.

    I very much doubt they did this because it was the right thing to do.

    That’s great news that such acts are shutting down everywhere.

    Lauran Childs

  54. Sandra says:

    Hat’s off to Ringling Bros. for this decision. Let’s move forward and educate people that animals and thoughts and feelings the same as people. Confinement and abuse of the innocent is not and will never be accepted.

  55. Mary Sue wald says:

    This is a great victory for the animals!! As, for the circus, if Cirque de Soleil can do without animals, so could Ringling Bros!!!

  56. Mary says:

    Hi – can you all go into any detail on where the animals (other than elephants) will be going after this?

  57. barbara basch says:

    Thank goodness for this tremendous turn of events and might I add ots about time. Animal abuse is not entertainment and this circus along with seaworld and the like have needed to dissolve this practise for along time now.

  58. melissa bonney says:


  59. Evelyn Urquhart says:

    Thanks to the HSUS for the hard fight for the rights of animals. So happy that this circus will be no more!

  60. Stephanie Molnar says:

    This makes me so happy. I hope they are able to place all their remaining animals in accredited sanctuaries so they can live out the remainder of their lives in comfort and with others of their own kind. I also hope this means an end to any breeding programs the company maintained. Thank you for this compelling report and keep up the good work, HSUS! And I agree–change is never easy, so the hat tip to Ringling is deserved. Thank you.

  61. Rusty says:

    So what does happen to these animals?

  62. jane gregoritch says:

    I’m curious what will happen to the existing animals that they own.

    I know Ringling has retirement centers for some of their animals.

    Will they all go there?

    Any answers appreciated.

  63. David White says:

    With the elephants already gone, is there a plan for placement of the other animals to proper sanctuaries? And if so are they being monitored as to the proper handling and placement. The circus will be greatly missed. This was a fantastic show that I was glad to have seen as a child. I am sorry to see it fold but hopefully the animals can be given proper care and homes to live out there remaining years.

  64. John C says:

    This is a huge win for these animals! Thanks to HSUS and the good people that care about animals. The relentless pursuit and consistency has definently made a huge impact, not only for this win, but many other areas that has improved the welfare of animals. We are the voices of these animals, and yet there is more work to be done, these small victories add up to big victories! I will continue to support HSUS a 100% and other organizations that help animals throughout the world!

  65. Irene DeAngelis says:

    What will happen top the other animals in the circus? I hope they are going to places as safe as the elephants. Thanks

  66. Martha says:

    I could not be happier to hear the news of improving the quality of the animals lives❤?❤❤❤❤❤

  67. Eric Mills says:

    Surely a cause for celebration! Thanks to all who made it happen PETA, the HSUS, PAWS and local activists everywhere. Special thanks here in the San Francisco Bay Area to activists Barbara Grove, Pat Cuviello and Deniz Bolbol, who were constant in their actions over many years.

    This is a good start. But there are other circuses and carnivals which use and exploit wild animals. Twenty-seven countries around the world have outlawed the ALL wild animals in traveling circuses and carnivals, including Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, Costa Rica, The Netherlands, even Iran. Only last year, the City of San Francisco banned all wild animals in circus acts, and New York City is currently considering similar legislation. Prior to that, both L.A. and Oakland outlawed the use of bullhooks. Grandma was right: Perseverance.

    The entire U.S. needs to follow suit, and now’s the time. Most state legislatures reconvene in January. Contact your state reps and urge them to introduce the needed legislation.

    I think we’re on a sea-change of public opinion about circus animals and orcas & dolphins in marine parks. They gotta go.

    Again, heartfelt thanks to all who helped bring this about.

    Eric Mills, coordinator

  68. Wendy Koltz says:

    This is, of course, wonderful news. I hope that the HSUS is involved in retiring these beautiful creatures to a safe place where they can finally roam free and wild like nature intended them to. Please keep us posted!!

  69. EVEYN DELACRUZ says:

    This is the greatest news i have heard this year. As a child i had the opportunity to go to one the the events. I had no clue that these poor animals were being mistreated as a child but as i got older i soon realized that i would never ever attend another show of theirs. Today i have grandbabys and i have instilled in my children the cruelty these animal endure for the pleasure of humans. I am proud to say that my daughter will not and has never supported the behavior as well….Yaaay!!!!! We have some celebrating to do…thank god and good bye ringling.

  70. Carl Yaegel says:

    I Love Animals in a very small way I contribute to several Protect Animal Rights Groups About $25,$30 a month but when I saw this article it made it all worth it ,I believe that Ringling’s Brothers should be commended and in time will be for their decision I hope that the smaller Circus Companies follow and limit their acts to Human acts, My hat is off to Wayne Pacelle’s keep up the good work I plan on shifting as much extra money as I can to HSUS in the future.

  71. Suzanne Meyers says:

    Thankyou. It’s been long over due and has come to an end, finally. How many innocent animals have been tortured, abused, starved and experimented on in the horrible agony of suffering. It still goes on every day and every minute and will continue. Animals have no voice but ours and we must continue on the never ending journey to keep fighting for their rights to live the way God intended them to as they have no voice. I support all Peta has done and every other animal foundation, no questions asked. Keep moving forward!

    Suzanne Meyers

  72. Colleen McAbee says:

    Keep up the good work for God’s creatures.

  73. BarbNak says:

    I fear for the animals that are no longer able to produce an income for their exploiters. What will happen to the big cats, horses and other exotics since they’ve become ‘useless’ financially? Will the Humane Society be a watchdog over their treatment and re-homing? I sure hope so.

    • Sherry says:

      I have the same questions and concerns about the future for these animals. I have heard that the elephants that Ringling already retired are still in the possession of the circus and are being kept at the circus’ winter quarters, in cages and/or chained up. I have heard nothing about the other animals, like the big cats. I fear most especially for the cats, as some sanctuaries that currently have tigers, lions, bears, etc., who have lived there for years or their whole lifetime, and may very well not accept new additions. That may even be true of elephants, who are quite territorial. I’m not saying that this isn’t wonderful news–of course it is. I just don’t want their futures to dip below the radar so that those of us who care don’t find out if they are sold to even more unscrupulous circuses. Or to horrible zoos–I have mixed feelings about even the best zoos, but there are so many low-budget zoos that keep wild animals in horribly deprived environments. There are states that allow private individuals to own these animals as ‘pets,’ which has resulted in some very sad ends for them, when ignorant people do unsafe things with them, resulting in injury to people and death for the animals.

  74. Kathy Dowell says:

    What a triumph for elephants! Back in the 90’s, I witnessed elephants rocking in semis outside the circus venue, a sign of stress. I cried, feeling helpless. The Humane Society of the USA deserves credit for ending animal cruelty. Thank you.

  75. Jax says:

    So what happens to the animals?

  76. Nyla Brown says:

    May I ask, what will happen to the animals after the circus officially closes? Will they go to zoos that may or may not be any better? Will they be destroyed? I am very concerned of what happens afterwards and if PETA cares about the after effects.

  77. Maureen Kelly says:

    Thank God!!! The best news I have heard in a very long time. I pray these beautiful animals will now all go to sanctuaries where they will have a chance at the normal, peaceful life they so deserve. Thank you, Ringling Bros., for doing the right thing!!

  78. Suzanne Campbell says:

    Is there going to be any organized monitoring of the (hopefully humane) fate of Ringling’s animals once the circus closes? If not, it seems this “victory” will be happening at their expense.

    Also: Ironically, Ringling’s closure, while humane in the short run, removes elephants, tigers, etc from the consciousness of many kids who might have grown to love them by seeing them in the circus. I’m not suggesting we need animal abuse, but this generation of humans is more cut off from real nature & animals than ever, thanks to our culture of technology. Simply removing animals from public consciousness will help doom them. People don’t make sacrifices to save creatures or landscapes they never learned to know and love. We need creative ideas on how to humanely capture the imagination of a new generation!

    • Andrea says:

      Suzanne, as a kid I truly hated the one circus show my parents took me too. I felt the fear in the animals and noticed the whips.
      We have so many more amazing opportunities these days to see the wild – one of them the Planet Earth series. The internet brought us close to places through videos and websites. More people care about wildlife and places than ever before. All the national and state parks have really good programs about wildlife, many for kids. They are all well-visited, for example the talks with a ranger.
      The growing conscience and awareness is what brought these demeaning cruel shows down. People know better these days. Thank you.

    • Sherry says:

      Great questions and comments, Suzanne! We do need to provide settings for children to see living animals. I’m very concerned that today’s kids are growing up without understanding the difference between a disposable toy and a living being that feels pain, fear, and loss.

      To some extent, there is a deliberate disconnect in our society between animals and the food supply, as parents who eat meat don’t like it when their children find out that those packages in Styrofoam and plastic at Wal-Mart used to be living, breathing creatures that are raised and killed horribly to provide meat. I’ve seen parents go to school and complain when kids are taken to farms on field trips and learn where their food comes from. Many go home and tell their parents that they aren’t eating meat again, which I think is great but apparently doesn’t make parents who want to force their children to be carnivores very happy!

      So we need to provide trips to sanctuaries and rescues. Most sanctuaries and rescues provide tours where people can see the animals, and interact with those animals that it’s safe to. I rescue “pet” bunnies that have been “dumped” myself, which is why I’ve become so concerned that today people–not just kids–really don’t understand the difference between a sentient being with feelings and an inanimate toy. I’ve seen so many pets dumped for getting older and not being so “cute” any more.

      We really need to demonstrate that animals are living beings with feelings in any way we can. (And personally, good for teachers who show children where their food comes from. If that results in kids refusing to eat sentient beings, then all the better. Their folks ought to get with it and learn to provide healthy veggie meals instead!)

  79. megahn says:

    This is wonderful news. It is about time. Making profit off of the torture of animals is sickening. Now we need to do away with horse racing, greyhound racing. Bull riding. The list is endless, but this is a great start. Thank-You Wayne for all the hard work you do to save animals. We so need you.

  80. Sandy McLelland says:

    The work is not over – the animals currently in Ringling Brother’s care still have to live somewhere until the end of their lives. HSUS will need to be part of the process to assure that these animals are treated humanely and allowed to live out their lives in peace and comfort.

  81. Daniel Laemmerhirt says:

    Huh. Well that is VERY exciting news for one that adores and respects all animals! I am very proud of the circus staff for having the guts to take it all down. It is just too bad that they couldn’t continue to perform without the animals, and use just people with tremendous talents like other humane circuses. I wish the former performers (haha) the best of luck in fields that DON’T abuse animals!

  82. Andree Clearwater says:

    What a relief and major milestone for the humane treatment if animals. Now I hope and pray the circus animals will be provided for decently and retired to live out their lives in reputable sanctuaries!

  83. Diana says:


  84. Twila says:

    So what is going to happen to all the animals?

  85. Marsha Lucero says:

    I am beyond thrilled that the Ringling Brothers are closing but I am now concerned about where the animals will be taken. I am hoping to animal sanctuaries. Is there any information on this?

  86. Ana Verlaine says:

    This is good news ,but where are they going to send the animals? It has also been shown,sadly that zoos do no better.

    • R. Whiston says:

      The Black Beauty Ranch in Tyler, TX is a possibility. Founded by Cleveland Amory specifically for this purpose

  87. Pat Wolph says:

    So what will happen to the animals?

  88. HB says:

    I hope rodeos are next! I live in Denver and grew up going to the National Stock Show every year and didn’t think much about it. The last year I went I took my kids and sat at the end of the arena where they get the animals ready to go into the arena. Cowboys were poking and hitting the baby calves with sticks to get them riled up and scared so they’d run fast when let out. The cowboys then chased and lassoed them. It was so violent, sad, cruel, and horrible. I’ve never been back.

  89. Dan A. JOEL says:

    It’s about time to end the involuntary servitude of animals in human circuses. Not a moment too soon. To all the parents who feels awful about their children who will grow up not ever (hopefully) seeing animals doing things animals never do except in circuses, I say: (1) watch videos–they are available; and (2) go and see Cirque De Soleil–a human circus with people– getting paid to perform natural contortions and take risks they can understand.A third option is to adopt a pet in need for a home and treat it nicely–in contradistinction to circuses.

  90. Pearl ober says:

    It is about time..so awesome. .free the animals from abuse

  91. Alyssa McGhghy says:

    Will HSUS be helping these animals find homes when that time comes?

  92. Pearl ober says:

    it is about time. .Awesome. .finally free from abuse

  93. Leah E. Mintz MD says:

    This brings tears to my eyes. This is a milestone in the effort to end animal cruelty. I hope the animals who have had to endure these confined lives and inhumane treatment find their way toward comfort and kindness.

  94. Rosita Muller says:

    Dat werd tijd zeg!!!…hoop wel dat de dieren een goed onderkomen zullen krijgen!!!!!

  95. Mildrey Perez says:

    BRAVOOOOO!!!! I feel so happy for those animals living in prison and forced to act like a human being!!! They never enjoyed life in the way must be for real animals!! now…where are you taking them ???…..

  96. Karen Holtslag says:

    It is a great move to release the animals who have “entertained” the masses at
    the cost of their natural way of living. I congratulate and honor your integrity for
    making this determination. The animals are the purist life on our planet…. no intentional malice, living their life as they were formed to do. Thank you for providing that opportunity.

    • Karen Holtslag says:

      It is a great move to release the animals who have “entertained” the masses at
      the cost of their natural way of living. I congratulate and honor your integrity for
      making this determination. The animals are the purist life on our planet…. no intentional malice, living their life as they were formed to do. Thank you for providing that opportunity.

      • Karen Holtslag says:

        Karen Holtslag

        It is a great move to release the animals who have “entertained” the masses at the cost of their natural way of living. I congratulate and honor your integrity for making this determination. The animals are the purist live on our planet … no intentional malice, living their life as they were formed to do. Thank you for providing them that opportunity.

  97. Judith Brock says:

    We are praying that HSUS and the other animal welfare organizations will join together in efforts to assure these circus animals go to sanctuaries? Hoping they will not be exploited yet in other circus acts? Used for entertainment? BUT will enjoy a retirement in a sanctuary surrounding such as Black Beauty Ranch or other locations? With hope, jb

  98. Cynthia Smith says:

    Very, very well done. It makes me proud to be associated with such a wonderful organisation which lives up to its name. Thanks for your devotion and perseverance
    Cynthia Smith

  99. Audrey M. Brantley says:

    This is great news and I pray other circuses follow suit—no animals should be used for people’s entertainment. It’s cruelty! I don’t believe in zoos either—same thing–people’s entertainment. Natural habitats only for injured animals otherwise leave all in their native lands and surroundings.

  100. Terri Strang says:

    You said it all-VICTORY!!!!!!!!!

  101. Donnie says:

    Hip hip hooray

  102. lyn says:

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

  103. SK says:

    More great work from HSUS. Please follow up and let us know what will happen to the animals … reserves? sanctuaries?

  104. Mary W says:

    At 5 to 10 years of age, I loved seeing the wild animals at Ringling. At 15 my family toured the Ringling Museum in Sarasota and I loved it. At 20, I was more concerned about the safety of viewing the animals if something went wrong. At At 30 I was embarrassed for the magnificent lions sitting in a circle and so unlike the powerful animal they really were. At 40 I was depressed watching elephants standing on barrels instead of roaming the wild fields with other elephants and vowed never to attend again. At 50 I discouraged my adult children from letting their kids see the pitiful state of the animals in a circus. Now, at 70, I am so happy for the closing of this form of entertainment. I thank HSUS for it’s efforts over the years and Ringling for ending this practice.

  105. Kim Pruett says:

    YES, YES, YES! At last! I don’t believe for one minute, Ringling did this out of the goodness of their steel hearts.
    They could not generate enough money to keep it going and managing it their way with Inhumane treatment of these beautiful animals! Many thanks to HSUS and all the people around the world who signed petitions to stop the cruelty of these poor animals! Thank You, Thank You…Persistency pays off!

  106. Emma Bowen says:

    Thank God at last!

  107. Johanna H says:

    What is going to happen to all of the animals still with Ringling Bros(lions, tigers, etc.)?

  108. Catherine Moon says:

    What will happen to all the circus animals? Where will they go? Who will care for them? They have been socialized and many are like pets…

  109. Tina B says:

    This Is a victory!! Wonderful news!
    I never could support a Circus…knowing what the animals
    Had to go through for profit.
    Good work Humane Society!

  110. kathy wintston says:

    The CEO of the circus said this is not a victory for PETA and other animal organizations that protect animals. Wrong! This is a wonderful day for all animals that have been abused for many years for silly circus acts. People can still be entertained and I was so thrilled to see this day come in my lifetime.

  111. Lorette says:

    Thank goodness I pray all these amazing animals can live out their lives happy safe with full tummies and lots of land to roam around?

  112. Maya Durnovo says:

    What exciting and well overdue news!!! Thank you HSUS for working so hard to protect animals and teach people that exploiting animals is forbidden!

  113. Natalie D. Roberts says:

    This is such good news (Ringling Bros.). We are truly taking a huge step toward a more civilized country. I could see that this WAS coming, but I honestly did not think it would be in my lifetime. I am so proud of Ringling Brothers’ Barnum & Bailey Circus for making this really tough decision and while they are now out of the circus business, they are going out with the start of a huge ball rolling I look forward to seeing the pins fall. I am SO happy for all of these animals.

  114. Helene Settle says:

    What is going to the circus animals now that the circus is no more? I hope they are not euthanized or otherwise cruelly treated. The animals deserve a happy and quiet life now that they are no longer obliged to work.

    Please let us animal lovers know! Thank you.

  115. Sue says:

    Thank god!!! Good news, makes me want to cry!!!

  116. Emma Bowen says:

    So glad! Thank God! At last!

  117. Mrs Linda Matthews says:

    Thankyou goodness what wonderful news but this needs to happen everywhere no more animals in a circus or as entertainment for people anywhere.The tide of opinion is turning where animal welfare is paramount and put before profit that is how is should be.We need t o keep the pressure on to eliminate animals from all so called entertainment for exa mple I note that in America you still have roadside Zoos this is outrageous that wild animals are placed in confinement by the side of a highway for people to gawp at it is not entertainment it is cruelty and needs to be stopped.All circuss need to take up the mettle and chan ge overnight to agree to no longder use animals for entertainment purposes.Keep up the good work we will succeed people power…………

  118. Arlene says:

    I am thrilled the circus is shutting down – what I’m concerned about is what will happed to all the animals they have now. Will they be put into appropriate sanctuaries?

    Hopefully we can get Sea World and others like this to do the same.

  119. Barb. Palmer says:

    Thank you Ringling Bros. for doing the only humane thing. Where will the circus animals go from here?

  120. Dolly says:

    This is fantastic news! Praying others follow in trying to make this a better world for all of God’s creatures.

  121. Mary E. Hussey says:

    This is GREAT NEWS!!
    My Hat’s off to Ringling Bros.
    This decision is the Right thing to do!! Finally!!
    I personally want to Thank this company for its honest outcome!!

  122. Terry Miller says:

    Thank you HSUS and Mr. Pacelle for leading us to this time, when such things can evolve in the morally right and ethically thoughtful direction. Ringling Brothers Circus will always remain historically in our minds as the greatest show on earth but it will teach us to always understand that we can be blind to terrible
    things until it is brought to our attention by those who are deeply thoughtful.

  123. Marni says:

    So happy for this decision to finally let the animals go. even though it is all about their not bringing in the money than about the animal’s welfare. Ringling hasn’t cared about the animal’s welfare for 146 years, so nothing has changed. Thank you to the public who are not interested in seeing confined, abused and oppressed animals in a circus.

  124. Marlene says:

    What happens to the animals now? Are there arrangements for them to go to sanctuaries to live out their lives?

  125. DebrA Chavez says:

    I thank HSUS and other organizations, and supporters for their unrelentless and perseverance for this outcome. I’m glad to know that California, my state, is leading the way, I continue to hope that other states will follow suit.

  126. Sari says:

    On to Sea World and their like.

  127. Kathy Blake says:

    So thrilled the circus is ending. Never liked it.

  128. dawn labbato says:

    thats soo great finally these animals get to have a life, thanks to all the people who fought for these animals, they deserve a life to,

  129. SONYA says:


  130. Chuck Wm.Kennedy says:

    It is great to think that decades of work by an extremely large group of people,both past and present is beginning to show progress far greater than what we felt could be accomplished,yet far less than what yet has to be done. This is a great time for jubilation. It is also a time to keep up and keep moving forward.

  131. June Gollatz says:

    I honestly never thought this would happen in my lifetime…..I was so discouraged when on the news the other night they were showing animals parading at the circus and people interviewed saying how disappointed they are that the circus is being discontinued! I am so very happy that I precluded that it would ‘never’ happen……I am ecstatic….thank you, thank you for being the organization that you are….the best animal caring program in the world. I love you all: HSUS!

  132. Gail R Mills says:

    Where will all the animals from Ringling Bros. Circus go???

  133. Terrie Hansen says:

    This is great news. BUT we now need to prevent any other “circuses” or other such forums, from purchasing the animals from Ringling. We need to ensure that the animals go to protected, approved sanctuaries! Thank you HSUS for all your work and help!!

  134. Marcia Kirsh Kohler says:

    Dear Friends,
    I would like to add the tipping of my own hat to Ringling. A huge sigh of relief, and one less place for concern for the beautiful endangered animals. Though I am wondering where they will be relocated; what will their new home be, this is great news.Thank you for sharing it, and for all the great work you do.

    Warm Regards,
    Marcia Kohler
    Boulder, CO

  135. John Eastveld says:

    Fantastic news. As a child my brothers and I attended a circus like this. We loved seeing the animals but were too young to realize what the animals had to suffer to make a show like this possible. At that age we associated the Disney movies with the zoo animals. Big mistake.

  136. Michelle Hill says:

    I quit going to the circus in my late teens. It always broke my heart to see the animals living conditions and the heavy chains they wore. I hope all of the animals; lions, tigers, bears, elephants, monkeys, etc… are taken to a sanctuary where they can live the rest of their lives roaming free and in peace.

  137. Krystal Higdon says:

    What happens to the animals now? I hope they will be taken care of and have a good life after the circus is over. I heard the elephant sanctuary is part of Ringling so will they continue to support it?

  138. Eva says:

    Wondering…where will all the animals be retired to? Does the circus have a retirement fund for the years and years of hard work these animals have put in? Will the elephants stay together?

  139. Sue Kohn says:

    While all of us who deeply care for the well-being of all animals, big and small, are relieved that the circus is closing its doors, we are concerned about what will happen to Ringlings’ captives once the circus shuts down. The concern is highlighted by the move of their elephants to their “sanctuary” in Florida, which is anything but. We are hoping that organizations like yourself will follow up on the location(s) and life/lives of the animals post-circus abuse. It would be great to hear any news about the dear elephants who are now living at the Florida “sanctuary”.

  140. Debbie Sullivan says:

    When I was little, I used love to go to the circus. But now I get so upset to see animals chained, in cages and reading how they are forced to perform. I am glad they are closing down for the animal’s sake.

  141. Marty says:

    Wonderful news!!!!

  142. Marcia Partekel says:

    What happens to currently used animals when they shut down? Will this be monitored? Feel badly for its respectable history and at of life for generations of people now jobless. Agree animal exploitation out of hands of good trainers taken over by china Korea Vietnam cheep wonders needs to stop. Dog trade please continue to push to stop this affecting many more lives than any other exploitation puppy mills laboratories inclusive. Try to do what I can as small rescue. Those dogs and cats have no voice no affective law in their favor to put an end to hundreds of years their fate has gone on. Thank you humane society keep pushing we will!

  143. Susan says:


  144. Jimmie Harned says:

    Attending this circus has been a family tradition for me and my family through several generals. I support going after puppy mills, dog fighting, and other such mistreatment. However, Ringling Brothers’ Circus is an American tradition! Harassing this circus into extinction is going too far! The closing of this circus after 146 years was the last straw for me! I have unsubscribed from your e-mail list!

    • d. marie says:

      Shame on you. Just because the circus existed for 146 years doesn’t mean it should last forever. Knowing how the elephants were forced to perform unnatural tricks, are tethered by chains, whipped into submission, forced to stand on cement for hours etc. to simply entertain people is asinine. If you truly are concerned about humane treatment of animals you will, rather must continue to support animal rights groups. You can’t pick and choose to save some animals but not others because they are used for entertainment.

  145. Nick Michas says:

    It’s not over;it’l never be over. We have to be ever vigilant.

  146. Elizabeth Phillips says:

    Perhaps now you can spend your energies on protection in the wild for these threatened animals. Testosterone-fuelled trophy hunting still goes on and I have missed the news articles that reflect your interest in that activity or your condemnation of rich men’s proud displays of the dead animals. Perhaps you can explain how disadvantaged children now have any exposure to exotic animals if all the show and parks and zoos go away. Animals need protection but there is another side of the coin.

  147. Nan says:

    Many decades ago, I was fortunate to see “The Greatest Show On Earth” at Madison Square Garden. I was also able to visit the Florida museum. Seeing the circus in person was a thrill I’ve not had the good luck to, again, experience. The closing of Ringling’s show is a sad day for this old lady. I guess the only chance I’ll have to see a circus again will be to watch the movie.

  148. Joan Hobbs says:

    Yes, they have done the right thing, and it is good of you to acknowledge their emotional investment in their tradition. May they all transition to other employment smoothly. And may all the animals find good sanctuary directly.

  149. Joanne Medeiros says:

    Are their sanctuaries in the zuS who will now manage the retired Ringling Brothers elephants and big cats? Where are they and how can one contribute?

  150. jerry johnson says:

    FOR ALL THE ANIMALS, Finally a good life for you all .
    You all did more than yoyr part .
    B&B, Ringling bros, you made the right decision .
    Jer in St.Louis, Mo

  151. Delsy says:

    My heart felt lighter ! Thank you HSUS for the hard work.

  152. Junnie says:

    So happy this finally came to an end wish it did years ago, but still grateful.

  153. Denise says:

    ITS ABOUT TIME….!!! The Circus and Zoo’s are incredibly antiquated, people need to find other forms and venues to appease their moronic desire for constant amusement….let animals be animals without any interference from mankind.

  154. B Bee says:

    Hip Hip Hooray !!!

    No more sad animals…

  155. Tara Spellman says:

    I cried when I heard this on Saturday….longtime prayers for those beautiful animals have been answered, Sea World is next. Thank you Wayne, HSUS, and the entire animal-welfare movement for making this happen….I am beyond grateful to have witnessed this in my lifetime.

  156. Veronique Assouline says:

    This is really a huge success. What will happen to their animals?

  157. Carol & Edward Margason says:

    This is great news! What happens to the animals? Sold to someone else for more abuse and exploitation? Okay animal advocate nonprofits time to step up and make sure all animals go to sanctuaries.

    We’ll be standing by and watching.

  158. Ruth Q Leibowitz says:

    This is great news – thank you for your work on behalf of the animals. The next issue is — where will the animals go? Hopefully there will be arrangements made to release them to appropriate sanctuaries. Is there someone we could write to in order to request this and/or learn what happens next to the animals?

  159. c nygren says:

    What’s going to happen to all those animals? I’ll be their future isn’t any rosier with perhaps death.

  160. Pohar O'Connor says:

    I say Its About Time!!! It only took 146 Years to shut them down. What happens to all the Animals once they shut down I do hope they all go to a Sanctuary where they can live out their lives in peace and Lots of love

  161. Steve says:

    Thank Goodness! And now, let’s continue to work to rid the entire world of similar “shows” that utilize animals as part of the “entertainment.” I can only hope that every other Circus will close as well.

  162. Evelyn Solorzano says:

    It’s great that Ringling will close the circus for good. But I would like to know how are they handling all the animals that have been part of the shows? Is there any information on what are they doing with them? Are they going to a sanctuary or are they being sold to a negligent owner. It’s important to follow up on the whereabouts of these animals. What are the laws in place to protect the future of this animals?

  163. Roxanne S Burke says:

    Thank you for all that you do. God bless you.

  164. Juli Bauer says:

    It bothers me that without enough exposure to live animals, people will stop caring leading to extinction of species.

  165. Vanessa Bartley says:

    While that is wonderful news, what will happen to all the animals they have? Where they go from here is just as important.

  166. Nancybelle Jones says:

    Watching these beautiful and powerful animals freed from their chained caged and tethered lives brings tears of joy for the love god has bestowed on them. May they stay in our hearts with love and peace.

  167. Kathleen Reiner says:

    That is great news and I hope other organizations with animal performers follow their example! Great work HSUS! That is why I was so proud to work for HSUS!!

  168. Rozalie Palan says:

    What will happen to the animals? What will their future be like? I hope with caring caretakers like Elephant Sanctuary, Tiger Creek, Frontline Equine Rescue, Lifesavers Horse Rescue, will be called upon to take care of them. They certainly deserve a better future than that with the stupid circus.

  169. Michele Mcdonald says:

    I am so happy to hear that this is ending. Can you tell me if you know what will happen to these precious animals. I hope a beautiful place.

  170. Cheryl Victir says:

    Wonderful and amazing … More and more are realizing about animal cruelty…. I myself would never go to a circus with live animas performing. Praying, these animals are all placed in sanctuarys where they can live out their lives in peace

  171. Donna Bernath says:

    This is fantastic news. A step in the right direction. My vision for the future: ALL life will be treated with dignity and respect. No animal should be tortured, neglected or abused. They have a life. They have feelings.

  172. Stacy says:

    How very sad to see this all come to an end. One of my best memories as a child was going to see the ringling bros it was AMAZING I will def have to try and catch one last show before they close for good very sad day in deed maybe one day they will bring it back fingers crossed

  173. pat says:

    I am so proud to be a continuing supporter of HSUS because it makes my heart feel good to see the animals being protected. Animals have feelings as well as does the human race. They hurt physically as well as emotionally just as we do. They were created by our Creator for our enjoyment. Our world would be changed forever without these wonderful and beautiful creatures of all kinds.

  174. Ed Fritz says:

    To witness animals in the wild doing natural things in their daily fight for survival is an amazing sight. To be out in the world where those animals live and flourish and to have a rare close view of them is a marvel to be part of…But, seeing elephants dressed up in show outfits and tassels and made to do unnatural acts like in the photo in this article – it is embarrassing, humiliating, and shameful. There is no grandeur or excitement watching people force animals to perform circus acts and stunts. Those animals don’t enjoy their “working life”. Even if they are well treated and taken care of that doesn’t provide any relief to their mental and emotional states. This is a good thing long over due.

  175. Sandra Campbell says:

    Thank God. I’ve been waiting an eternity for this. I’m just speechless right now.

  176. Susan Carol says:

    Where we all the animals be placed once the curtain closes for the last time ? I hope they can live out thier lives in a private reserve where they won’t be locked up and can roam freely like nature intended.

  177. Linda Zumstein says:

    This announcement made my heart sing! … long overdue but happily received!

  178. Rosemarie says:

    What is going to happen to the existing animals they have.

  179. Andrea Hawkins says:

    I was happy to hear this 🙂

  180. Maria L. Hernandez says:

    Ringling Bros., is finally doing the right thing! If they cannot produce acts in their circus without abusing animals then it’s best that they move on n do something else that does not include animals!! So so enlightened by their decision!????????❤❤❤???????????????????????????????

  181. BeasHoney says:

    What ate they found g with the animals they have?? Do we know they are safe and taken care of?

  182. Teresa Brenton says:

    If only we could convince some of those awful roadside zoos to get out of the way, too.

  183. BeasHoney says:

    What ate they doing with the animals they have?? Do we know they are safe and taken care of?

  184. Pat Brooks says:

    What will happen to the animals ?

  185. Joyce Powell says:

    What will happen to the animals that have been in circus acts?

  186. Tasha Cassanova says:

    What will happen to all the animals??

  187. Sherrie says:

    What will happen to the animals they have now? We don’t want them to be put in even dire straits like a chappy zoo do we?

  188. sally starr says:

    Thank heaven and all the super hard work to get this changed. It’s over finally, I trust. Now on to humane placement for all.

  189. Brenda Thrasher says:

    So thankful I lived long enough to see this happen. Now to see the KILL SHELTERS to turn around and be ADOPTION SHELTERS will be so wonderful!! Hope I live to see that happen too!! Thanks to all that helped make this happen.

  190. Amanda Davidson says:

    I’m delighted that this is an end to animal acts, but I’m concerned about finding places for all of them once the circus closes. Most of the sanctuaries are full and struggling financially, so where are all those beautiful tigers, camels, etc. to go now?

  191. Suzanne Washburn says:

    wonder where they will place the animals they have.

  192. G. Rowley says:

    Very exciting news – long overdue and not a moment too soon.

  193. Judy says:

    I have been hoping for this for years, but what will now happen to the animals?

  194. Donna Cyrbok says:

    YES! This is such good news. However where are the elephants going to be placed-another smaller circus that has no oversight on its animals or some nut that wants an exotic animal as part of his personal kingdom? I can only hope that these majestic social creatures can be retired to a sanctuary to live out there lives in the freedom they deserve. Let’s be honest the only reason the Ringling Brothers Circus is closing is because it is no longer financially viable not that they feel empathy for the animals.

    This also opens a curtain on the business of selling exotic animals in the American marketplace. Animals torn from their natural habitat for the amusement of individuals who often don’t know how or don’t have the resources to care for these animals. Again the animals suffer for personal gain. How is the HSUS dealing with this issue?

    • Barbara Eisenhower says:

      The elephants have already been moved to a wildlife sanctuary. Where they can live out the rest of their day in comfort and peace.

    • Elsie Clinton-Leslie says:

      I agree entirely, its because it is no longer financially viable for them and that is the only reason. If worried about people loosing their jobs, they can all get work in the human circuses where people are paid for their acts, not brutalized to perform, it is not natural for an elephant to stand up on its back legs etc., and the cruelty done in the name of entertainment. These poor animals did not have choices – I thank God this decision has been made. WHEN ARE THEY CLOSING TOMORROW I HOPE.

    • heather tisdale says:

      apparently they will still keep the animals but do no performances which is sick because these poor wild animals need better surroundings or go to a sanctuary & the words “Born Free means just that!! that’s what I heard but I hope for the animals sake that they are taken away from Ringling & given a better home.

      • Mark Kent says:

        Ringing keeping the animals seems to be a self defeating business decision, in addition to not really helping the situation much.
        The cost of keeping them would be staggering, and they would still be cruelly confined to cages and subjected to abuse and neglect. They need to be responsible and get all of them to proper sanctuaries no matter how much that would cost, and oversight would be required to prevent sales to improper people.

    • lisa clark-kahn says:

      HI guys to answer your question NO the animals will not go to sanutaries they are the property of the monsters at FELD ENTERTAINMENT and will be treated as such.ZOOS,entertainment,breeding ,tradeing confinment ,chains and tiny enclosures.They will be sure to keep exploiting them and making money off of them or giving them to fellow exploiters to do the same.Bigger picture is that this is starting to be the end of a abusive depraved cycle of wild animals in circuses and how we view wild animals and their situations we put them in or deem ok its starting to change for the better.Feld would free these beings for a respectable happy life at REAL sautuaries for that would take emotion ,empathy and soul.No EGO,GREED and the plain old their ours and will stay with our close exploiters family and friends will be what it is for these animals.Yet this is a huge great step for animal rights in general.

    • Esther says:

      I’m glad , now those poor animals can be free. No more abuse

      • carol says:

        SADLY…NO FREEDOM…..These poor elephants will still be used for ….PROFIT and GREED. They are ….OWNED.. by a MONSTER company called FELD….They DO NOT CARE at aALL about these wonderful animals. Its all about $$$$$ Theres a FABULOUS Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee…but these poor elephants DO NOT get to go there. Don’t let Ringling fool you….it always has been about THE MONEY. There headquarters are in Sarasota FL…a lot of these elephants will still be CONFINED and used for BREEDING>

    • Lane says:

      The eles have gone to Ringling’s ele “sanctuary”, as well as to zoos. They were not sold to other circuses

    • Madelyn Gross says:

      All wild animals in and out of circuses should be protected and sent to natural sanctuarys by law.

    • Michelle Currier says:

      I agree. What happens now to these wonderful animals, not just the elephants but all of them. Will they be free or will they still be mistreated just in another way. They should be able to enjoy the rest of thier lives chain and cage free. So I say again WHAT NOW!

    • Tami says:

      I agree that’s wonderful news but what’s going to happen now for these animals where will there home be I hope they go somewhere they can Rome free in a atmosphere that is like a jungle or something but they deserve to be well fed nnd respected

    • Diley Greiser says:

      I wish we would know we’re there animals would end up. I was thinking the same thing.

  195. Paddy Fletcher says:

    What is going to happen to all the animals? Will they all be going to sanctuaries?

  196. Diane Solomon says:

    I am so happy about this, but what about the people who abused these magnificent creatures of the circus? Why aren’t they being punished? or fined? They should also be held responsible to at least do some donation or restitution to the cause. I am elated for the animals, but the people are getting away with abuse. Hopefully we can now stop the roadside zoo’s and then the bigger metropolitan zoo’s.

    • Marie Kentin says:

      I understand the elephants are to be going to a Sanctuary in Florida . Read this on another site unfortunately can’t remeber which one it was.

    • Nelson says:

      Don’t look back and be vindictive. It’s a huge win and we should applaud Ringling for a courageous decision that sets a precedent for all animal entertainment to follow. I wish the oil and gas companies had the same courage to shift their model from extraction to renewable energy.
      Let’s reward good behavior and not dilute our energy punishing people who were ‘just doing their job’ even if a despicable one.

      • Stacey McRae says:

        I’m not going to lavish praise on a company that abused animals for over 100 years! They didn’t stop the circus because they have a heart, soul and god forbid a conscious. They stopped because they can no longer make money by abusing these sentient beings! They are STILL disgusting amoral aholes and ALL the animals need to go to sanctuaries!

      • carol says:

        You are VERY NAIVE…..APPLAUD??REALLY??They made this decision SOLEY based on ECONOMICS. They were losing money left and right…AND PETA, ASPCA, HUMANE SOCIETY….a kazillion PETITIONS,LETTERS DONATONS have been putting tons of pressure on Ringling for many many years to STOP the abuse, and cruelty that was put upon ALL their animals.

  197. Debbie kane says:


  198. Marilyn Glasgow says:

    Wayne,you had me until the last paragraph. The “right thing to do” was not their choice, it was the people’s choice. As for “emotional” investment in the circus, there certainly was none directed to the abused, tortured animals. Now are they going to do the “right” thing and close down their compound where they keep the elephants for breeding, living in chains and on concrete?, By the way, Feld himself said that the animal activists didn’t win. Do you think that was the “right: thing to say? Tyke didn’t die in vain.

  199. Ellen Patrick says:

    Great to hear where will the animals go

    • Kevin says:

      To the banimum bailey circus in the sky. Their gonna all be killed and fed to the poor in Africa you douchbag and its all your fault.

  200. Barbb says:

    Hallelujah, It’s about time!

    I personally have never supported the circus! I refused to take my children to witness such animal cruelty, and to be honest, I’m not a big fan of the zoo either.

    No animal whose natural habitat is the great outdoors should be subject to perform what circus operators consider to be “entertainment” by being confined and forced to learn acrobatics. That is not entertainment to me, it’s abuse.

    My sons who are now ages 33, and 31, have grown up to feel the same way, and have never taken their children to view such acts of cruelty. I’m glad Ringling Brothers have finally closed the curtain, and I pray it forever stays closed. Amen to a job well done HSUS.

  201. Donna Lis says:

    Thank God these precious animals will be able to live out their life happy safe and without being submitted to the abuse torture and pain from these horrible greedy selfish criminals ! Hopefully soon all circuses world wide will be ending and these beautiful gifts from God can live in peace as God intended for them to be !

  202. Carol Caffrey says:

    It’s a about time they stop hurting the animals in the ring , it is wonderful that they have stop uesing them all together , I’m so glad of that they are so mean to the animals were they hit them and other things to them to get them to work with the people.
    I’m happy now the animals will be safe…

  203. Lorraine Diehl says:


    Bravo!! One of the by products of these inhumane animal acts is that children have been desensitized to this crueltyl Now, they will no longer think it “normal” to watch those magnificent creatures behave like performing clowns.

  204. Vivienne P. Harting says:

    I was so happy to hear this news over the weekend. It was something that absolutely had to be done, but I am sorry for all the performers and people who worked for the circus losing their jobs. Losing one’s income is devastating, but I’m SO happy for all the animals and hope they are placed in good, safe places now, not sold to other small circuses still operating. I wish shutting down animals acts in circuses and elsewhere in the world, would also happen, but I realize that will take a long time before it happens. I was so distressed when we were in Russia and taken to the Moscow Circus a number of years ago and saw the way the animals were kept and treated. I wanted to leave, but couldn’t as we were part of a tour group. Never again for us. Even people in the U.S. in certain areas don’t seem to understand that all animals should be treated with kindness and good care if they are a pet, and wild animals should remain in the wild where they belong. While nature isn’t always kind, it is their way of life, and we should leave it alone as we usually do more harm than good when we intervene.

    • Nancy Rogers says:

      Thank you Vivian. Those were all the same thoughts that I was experiencing. Lots of people out of work and I am sure they will sell all those animals to other concerns instead of retiring them. I think those animals will be in danger of even more abuse during this time before the end. They need to watched from within and the public needs to know what they do with all the animals.

    • Stacey McRae says:

      You feel sorry for these scumbags who abused and tortured animals for a paycheck? You do not seem any different from them!

  205. Rhonda Edwards says:

    This is Fantastic News!! Now we have to keep pressure on the rest.. For instance the owner of Nosey the elephant ?. We have to keep putting it out there that people in the 21st century do not want to see exotic animals put in this situation anymore… all of these poor animals have done their time and then some, and need to be sent to sanctuaries where they can live out the rest of their days in peace and happiness..

  206. carmen llano says:

    Good for the Human Society. Great for the animals.
    Perseverance always pays.

    We have to be more human with the animals in general. God gave us the privilege to have them, then enjoy them t, instead of making them suffer and abuse them. Love all animals. I do…..

  207. Pissed says:

    Thank you for bringing the to light. Now I will no longer have to support your twisted ambitions any longer. GOODBY

  208. Constance Hingert says:

    Thank God, no more use and abuse of animals.

  209. Jeannie Pastrana says:

    I am so happy, I could bust!!! Circuses are for profit. Not for the animals well being! Am so happy that these animals will be free and no others are in the shadows, awaiting such a sad existence!! Add to that, I do not like clowns, they are creepy. A childhood thing I suppose. Congrats to the animals and all those who fought for this day to come!!!!???

  210. Carrie says:

    I hope and pray that all zoos and especially roadside zoos will no longer exist. We have no right to exploit animals for our pleasure. That should always be the question, is this for our pleasure or the animal’s.?
    Now, what will happen to the Ringling Brothers animals? Probably, they could not exist in the wild .

    • S Murphy says:

      Carrie Zoos are not a bad thing. Roadside yes. If it weren’t for zoos some animals could be extinct and gone from this earth. Rinky dink zoos yes. If they are run humanly they can save some that are close to extinction because of poaching, illegal ivory trade,animals that are killed for their fur. It would be great if those I just mentioned did not exist but unfortunately they do! The elephants are going to Florida at a sanctuary.

  211. PJ Nies says:

    What is going to happen to the animals? Is there an animal sanctuary set up for them or will they end up in zoos?

  212. Stefanos Tsioukar says:

    Great news,keep fighting…there!

  213. bonnie austin says:

    It is about time!! I have never been to a circus and will never until every circus out there stops the animal abuse that animals endure for human entertainment.

  214. Lee Ann Hasty says:

    It is a win for these animals, but you don’t address where all the animals will live out the rest of their lives. Will they all go to sanctuaries?

    • carol says:

      Unfortunately…NO. They are owned by a HORRIBLE company called FELD,s So,,, they will still be CONFINED Still made to PERFORM,, a lot will go to the Ringling Compound in Florida(still be CONFINED) and used for breeding(this is NOT a nice place

  215. Helen Tompkins says:

    I never cared for those bullhooks. That was cruel. I went to circus in our home town of Ky back in the late forties. I forget which one it was. They came once a year for many years. The place was always jammed packed. I always worried when they loaded up those poor animals on trains, truck and haulers to take them elsewhere. I know they feared it. They always seemed not to look mistreated. I think it is time this is stopped however. I hope the elephants received a good hugh pasture somewhere to roam in. They were in cages long enough and some I would imagine are elderly now. How long ago was it that elephants were stopped being used as show animals? Anyhow, I feel for all those people. I hope they can find good jobs over the U.S. in zoos, and other place where animals need caretakers. These people worked hard, most likely no retirement hardly. Sad but I am so glad for the little pets bless their hearts.

  216. c.cindy says:

    It’s about time….Why were bull hooks EVER allowed. Thankfully it is over and I hope in NEVER comes back

  217. Marina Lara says:

    Fantastic ! You are the only hope they have to return to their habitat!
    I wish any and every place of entertainment with animales would close!
    Since it is obvious that that all of them mean mental and físical pain for these inocent and inoffensive creatures!
    Sea world should be next !!

  218. María E. Gonzalez-Rauchmann says:

    Thanks, Lord, thanks, HSUS and thanks to everyone who has fought for this for such a long time! One victory; many more to fight for.

  219. Duron Scott says:

    It is truly a win for the animals. However, what is going to happen to them now?

  220. Marina Lara says:

    I love animals! And I truly believe that anyone that used and abuses them should be punished, be put out of business or inprisoned since they have the right to life!
    Good for you! You are the only hope they have!

  221. Kim tillman says:

    What will happen to all of the beautiful animals when Ringling Bros closes down?

    • Brandon says:

      many of them will be sold. Who knows where they will go?? Who knows what their conditions will be. …Victory?


    at long last. these places of abuse and torture should have disappered ages ago. thank god and commonsense this is the end but other circuses should do the same and follow the example of cirque de soleil

  223. Wendy Mangone says:

    What can we do about the 40+ elephants that are now at Feld’s breeding/research facility in Florida – “The Center for Elephant Conservation”? This is clearly not a retirement!!

  224. Arlene M. Jones says:

    I remember going 2 the
    RBBBC when I was a kid, in
    New Jersey? I loved it!! But
    even as a child I hated that the
    Animals had 2 B in a CAGE?
    I felt in my young heart that
    God was watching over them❤???????

  225. Bonnie Engstrom says:

    I think this is wonderful news, but what is going to happen to these animals now?
    I hope there is a plan in place to care for them.

  226. beth says:

    I am beyond ecstatic. This gives me a new outlook on 2017 and the future. These amazing animals have suffered far too long. As an individual you wonder how to stop these horrible practices and you feel helpless. By banding together and being their voice we can bring about change. Thank You everyone for all your hard work for all animal causes and lets continue to put an end to animal abuse of every kind. THIS TRULY IS AN AMAZING VICTORY FOR OUR FOUR LEGGED FRIENDS!!!

  227. Marion says:

    That is wonderful news.

    I’m hoping the remaining animals are retired to a sanctuary and not given to zoos.

  228. Linda says:

    I did a circus protest over 35 years ago. How sad that it took so long, and countless animals suffered from cramped, dark, cold, and noisy cages, and whips. This is a victory , but way over due. Will all of these animals now get proper care, and have a happy place to live? I hope so. Thanks to the people who worked so hard to make their dream come true.

  229. Bob Greenawalt says:

    I have been supporter of HSUS for many years and have an abiding and great love and respect for all of Gods creation but fail to understand how eliminating animal acts and destroying circuses helps animals.

    I’m beginning to believe organizations who claim to be animal rights activists are no better than religious fanatics.

    After your announcement supporting the closing of Ringling Brothers circus, I ‘m seriously considering no longer supporting HSUS.

    Children of all ages have always enjoyed the circus particularly the animal acts. A time honored tradition which brought joy and laughter people all over the world.

    And I’m willing to bet that majority of people in the U S and around the world would disagree with you.


    Bob Greenawalt

    Current supporter of HSUS

    • PeacheS says:

      Bob – If as a child, I enjoyed playing with many toys that, when I got older, learned were made in a sweatshop and many people were severely mistreated to make my toys, it must be ok to allow that. They brought me joy, right? So no problem, right?

      We cannot simply ignore the mistreatment of these animals for our own “entertainment.” That’s like me punching you in the face and saying it’s ok to do it again because I thought it was funny and it entertained me.

      Come on, use common sense.

      • Madelyn Gross says:


      • carol says:

        YES,really BOB….so do you NOT understand how ABUSED,TORTURED with BULLHOOKS and WHIPS these animals were subject TO/ AND confined to small, often filthy cages for up to 24 hours a day with no fresh air or worse blistering heat, or chained to cold dark HARD CONCRETE that promotes ARTHRITIS? Babies RIPPED away from their mothers to be whipped and tortured into SUBMISSION to make them DOCILE and trainable. ….For YOUR amusement and entertainment? You need to get in touch with reality

    • Pat P. says:

      It is a shame that you really don’t care about animals, the known horrific abuse by circuses, including multiple citations, by USDA, for every U.S. circus–the largest in history was against Ringling Bros. for animal cruelty.

      Vulnerable baby elephants were stolen from their mothers, soon after birth, terrified and abused in order to perform at circuses–using vicious bull hooks to dig into sensitive flesh to hurt them, along with using whips and beating them into submission. There was no play, no exercise, just chained to stakes or lives inside train boxcars.

      Abused tigers and lions, also, spent similar lives in misery–mostly, in tiny cages or hot rail cars. There was no such thing as exercise, play or kindness.

      No one who really cares about the welfare of animals would ever support brutality against them just so they can selfishly watch them do tricks! A NORMAL animal lover would be thrilled to know that these animals will be saved from terrible circus lives.
      They belong in reputable sanctuaries, where they can live decent natural lives, supported by people who DO CARE for animals.

    • Donna Cyrbok says:

      Shame on you Bob! And you claim to be a supporter of the USHS. Exactly how is using an elephant to entertain people but to be kept it chained in confined quarters on cement floors using hooks to shove them into a straight line or onto a chair considered humane. Is this teaching children empathy toward all creatures large and small. Perhaps there is a better way to put a smile on a child’s face.

    • Stacey McRae says:

      What rock did you crawl from under that you are condoning animal abuse and torture? You OBVIOUSLY are not and should not belong to the HSUS!

    • Ginger Neimo says:

      Better you keep quite as the more you say the more it becomes clear that you are a idiot..Anytime a person or animal has to do something they DO NOT WANT TO DO- it is wrong wrong wrong.
      Children will never know the difference going to a circus without animals.Even if they did- WHO CARES.. Would you like it if I forced you at gun point to act like a dog and walk on all four’s because children/people find it amusing… Doubt it. So why should a animal do it? Do you not know right from wrong? Am sick of people like you who seem to think it is OK to abuse animals because you can have a laugh at them, or because its a tradition. Oh-by the way I could not believe what you said about failing to understand how eliminating animal acts, can help animals. Wow ..you sure are a dumb one.??Maybe if you have spare money you should get someone to educate you on why animals do not belong in any circuses, or do your homework much better before you make a comment on anything.

    • Diana says:

      Wow Bob, reading the comments in response to your post one would think you were filmed standing on a street corner flogging a puppy while kicking a kitten.
      The vitriol on display for one espousing a different POV is breathtaking.

  230. Linda Gadbois says:

    Wonderful news! However, what will happen to the animals that Ringling has been using in its acts? What plans has Ringling made for their retirement and general welfare?

  231. Patrick Brawley says:

    Where are all of the animals going that the company owns?

  232. Kathryn Wykoff says:

    As a child, Ringling Circus enthralled me with it’s elephants and tigers. As an adult, actively involved in parrot rescue, I am sadly aware of what childish notions I had about the circus. I am thrilled that they have chosen another path. Perhaps they will eventually go so far as to support conservation efforts for those animals they used to display. Bravo, Ringling Brothers, for doing the right thing!

  233. Kathleen Bloom says:

    Leave them alone !

  234. Susan says:

    Where will the animals go? Will family and friends be kept together? My son lives near an elephant sanctuary near jamestown, ca. No private zoos I hope. Just freedom.

  235. Phyl Morello says:

    I hope EVERY CIRCUS & ANIMAL ACT be forever closed….ASAP!

  236. Terry Sullivan says:

    You may have created more of a problem than before, unless you are going to assist Ringling Brothers in the humane placement of the circus animals. If they are sold or placed with other circuses; what has really been accomplished?

    It will do the animals no service to have them end up placed with other traveling circuses or other operations that do not practice humane care and handling of the animals.

    I suggest that you offer to assist Ringling Brothers in locating placement options. If you or any of them are tax deductible, That would probably be of interest to them. (unless the tax statutes have changed, the deductions can be used over a period of 5 years, which might be very helpful.

    Anyway, I’m glad of what you have accomplished, but I just want to hear that you have finished the project to the benefit of everyone, including the animals.

  237. Patty Edwardi says:

    This is such wonderful news. I have never supported the circus because of cruelty to animals. Thank you!! Now what will happen with all these animals that are owned by RBB?

  238. Jan says:

    Job well done. I am very much against animal cruelty. May I also suggest to spend more advertising on tv on how to care for domestic pets like dogs and cats please. Not just showing videos how pitiful they look on cages etc. we need to educate people more how to care for their basic needs and their emotional needs through television.

  239. Steven Kovacs says:

    What a shame that you helped force Ringling Brothers out of business! Is it really better for those elephants to be in the wilderness where they can become the victims of poachers?

    What do you really know about how animals are treated? There is a symbiotic relationship between humans and animals and those animals were being taken care of.

    Concentrate on real issues. You’ve gone too far!

    • Zahra says:

      There is no longer a symbiotic relationship of humans with the planet or anything else that resides in it. There once was, but that was more than 10,000 years ago, before the Holocene, and the agricultural age. From that point on, humans have unfairly changed the environment for other beings, only for human benefit.

      We humans have appropriated all that the planet had to offer for our own ends (deforestation, mining, city building, garbage islands, landfills…etc, etc, etc), including other life forms. Just listen to the news about extreme weather conditions around the world over the past few years. Even if you are a climate change denier, you will have to come around as Earth disintegrates in front of you. The sooner we all can, the better.

      So I’d say that humans have gone too far.

    • Brandon says:

      I agree. I am a monthly supporter of the humane society but believe that folks don’t always think everything through. I am more concerned about the poachers in Africa who will make the species extinct than a few animals in captivity, that are probably reasonable cared for. I understand that their conditions are not idillic, but I don’t think that they suffer the abuse that animals in the circuses of yesteryear used to experience. I worry more about animals not in the spotlight rather than animals in large acts such as RB Circus. I worry more about dogs and farm animals chained in inhumane conditions left unfed to suffer the absence of basic survival needs such as food, water, or shelter rather than the accommodations of animals that are not socially correct by todays standards. Lastly, I have attended the RB Circus both last year and this year. It is still the greatest show on earth and would be fantastic even without the animals. It is a shame for childhood everywhere that this national treasure will close. Circa de Solei is really more for adults than children. Clowns and their recent vilification, and the circus are being assassinated and will be lost forever. I think it is a shame.

      • Ginger Neimo says:

        Brandon, these animals deserve care just like any other animals. What many animals have in common is:None want to be where they are. All are very very unhappy.Reducing animals to do tricks is awful, and being in a cage is horrible- with no room to move and that is probably why most end up going completely mad. Its awful what some animals must endure. I do not eat anything that a animal has suffered for or has to be killed for. I also care for animals overseas where dogs and cats get killed for food, and for bears who are caught for their bile, and for animals who are killed by poachers. These are a few of my charities and I will continue to support animals till the day I die. I even changed to another superannuation as so to make sure I am not making money off animals. So yes some are aware of other animals in need..I love and care for animals and try to help as much as I can. To me A world without animals would be like a world without love- its that simple.

        • Brandon says:

          Ginger, that is really beautiful. I love animals too, and support many programs. I do not condone animal shows at all but merely trying to point out there are differences between RB’s animals and the real cruelties I have seen. Humans can be so cruel to animals and to each other. Keep up the cause, thank god for good people like you.

    • Cathy Overmeyer says:

      Educate yourself about what they really know. People have risked much to go undercover and tape the abuse.
      Take the time to look at videos online about elephant “training”.

    • Sylvia Mace says:

      Hurray! ! Someone agrees with me, I don’t believe that Ringling Brothers participated in any abuse of animals these days. Animals can get bored, too. But humans retire so should an older animal. Now I remember the early days of my childhood when the elephants would lumber past in the town of Reading, Pa. And since my mother could not afford to take us to the circus we always looked forward to seeing the elephants walk past us as small children.
      What are the children who love the circus going to look forward to now?
      And will some animals fall prey to those hunting farms? I volunteered at an animal shelter and who will take these larger exotic creatures, will the zoos?

  240. Barbara Shapiro says:

    I’m very happy that this kind of “entertainment” has ended. Thanks to the efforts of many humans who care about the lives of other living creatures.
    Are all of these beautiful animals now going to be able to live out the rest of their lives in caring sanctuaries as free and happy creatures? I hope so!

  241. Richard Barnett says:

    Hey thanks, I ‘ve seen the elephant’s in the circus and I have seen them being cared for and loved behind the scenes, I’ve seen how they where embassador’s before the people who never saw a elephant before they saw them in a circus and now there is one less way to bring attention to how interesting they are and how they can interact with humans which like it or not, makes them vauleable to society. Without being part of the average people’s lives not just some mythical beast that lives in a country most people will never see and therefore will not care about. Not many people will shell out money for the protection of them. I have seen elephant’s in zoo’s along with other animals and the purpose of educating humans is met but there is rarely any interaction between human and animal. I have to wonder if the animals feel a need for some purpose in their life. I seem to think that HSUS is more about making money for the Executive and Administration to increase their paycheck then to help animals. How much do you make ? How much goes to improving condition of animals

  242. Connie miller says:

    Thank God!

  243. Barbara Rocco says:

    Thank you. I listened to a Tom Sullivan broadcast on KFBK yesterday, the subject of which was closure of the circus. He stated that the circus announced that it had lost revenue after the elephants left, trying to make it appear that loss of animals makes the circus unviable. Sullivan commented that he truly believes those animals were treated well (!!), evidenced by the lawsuit against PETA that the circus apparently won. Sullivan went on to say that the animals are fed and a vet is always available for them. WHAT??? He is so incredibly naive to think that these poor animals are not beaten and made to exist under deplorable conditions, not to mention how they got there in the first place, particularly the elephants! I was appalled by his ignorance!

  244. Theresa Sivori says:

    I am so glad they shut this down, its ashame it did not shut down earlier all the abuse these poor animals suffered. Thank you for all the hard work to set these animals free.

  245. SHERRIE says:


  246. Caroline says:

    I think this is great news regarding Ringling Bros. This was one of the major reasons why I never attended the circus, my love for animals and their well being.

  247. Gail McKay says:

    I applaud the end to animal exploitation at Ringling but would like to know how many animals are remaining and what they plan to do with the animals that they have in their care?

  248. Diana Bolam says:

    What’s going to happen to the animals When The Circus retires? How can we ensure their safety? To go to places where they will be well cared for?

  249. Linda Huffman says:

    I saw on T.V. that the Shriners were continuing their elephant acts with their aging elephants. They are too old to breed, thank heavens, so once their elephants are too old to do anything they will be retiring them and closing their circus. But they should also be encouraged to close now. Those elephants should be allowed to live out their lives in peace and quiet and in a lot of space. Shame on them for not thinking of those poor animals!

  250. Stephanie says:

    A tip of the hat are you kidding me they have been beating and to torturing these animals. A tip of the hat to them they all need to be chained beaten ect…..

  251. Shelley says:

    What happened to the circus animals?
    Where are they now?
    How is the welfare of these animals being addressed?

  252. Joanna Green says:

    Lets just pray they do not sell off all their animals to other countries….. I hope that all their animals can retire to a nice Ranch or Farm for retired circus animals. And live the rest of their lives out in peace….. With tons of room for romping, and plenty of food and water. In a perfect world this is my hope.

  253. Norman Mearns says:

    I hope that these elephants will not be sent back to Africa where they can be slaughtered for their Ivory Tusks !!!

  254. Bobbie Suttler says:

    What is going to happen to all of the animals that Ringling Bros. has been using and abusing in their shows?

  255. Ruth Ann Dorf says:

    Thanks God all these animals are going to be able to go to the sanctuary where they can be free and be loved thank you Humane Society for helping out God bless

  256. Chelsey says:

    Thank You HSUS for all that you do. Its about time this circus is closing it doors. I have always felt that animals should not be used for entertainment but live freely in the wild. Thank You so much for caring about animals & the wildlife as much as I do.

  257. Gianna Macias says:

    And what is happening to all the animals? And the elephants, they should not be used for experimenting on them.

  258. Earl Gershenow says:

    I strongly agree with closing Ringling and all similar businesses, all of which are truly inhumane, and set a bad example for our young children.

  259. Joan crews says:

    So happy to hear this circus will close. Now what will happen to the animals…hopefully they will go to a sancuary ,where they can be free, the way they are meant to be

  260. Beverly P says:

    What do they plan to do with the animals? I haven’t heard so will they continue to mistreat them?

  261. LaVonna Walters says:

    I was an employee of Feld Entertainment for almost a decade. I was a Disney on Ice employee, but I did have the opportunity to work with the circus about 1/2 dozen times (about 2 weeks each time). Although their circus animals were deprived of freedom and subjected to performing acts for the entertainment of humans, I will say that I never personally saw any animal being beaten or abused. Many of the the animals actually seemed to have great affection for their caretakers and trainers and vice versa. I even had the joy of up-close interaction with a mother elephant and her calf once for about an hour, which was an experience I will always hold dear in my heart.

    I applaud Feld Entertainment for making the decision to shut down Ringling Bros. Finally these animals will get to live out the rest of their days on wildlife refuges or conservation centers. However, there was no mention in this article of the Ringling Bros. Center For Elephant Conservation, or their efforts in cancer research. There was also no mention of the almost $16M lawsuit that the HSUS and it’s co-defendents had to pay to Feld Entertainment for BRIBING a former employee to say that Ringling’s elephants were being abused.

    I’ll just close by saying that I’m happy for the animals. They will finally be (somewhat) free and I wish them happiness for the rest of their days.

    • Will Sparks says:

      Thank you for your reality check (as a lawyer) and your
      kind words. I know you must
      love animals! God Bless you.

  262. Mike Karamitas says:

    It is very heartening to learn that Ringling is abandoning their animal acts. What concerns me is what happens to these gorgeous animals once this is a closed issue. Are there santuaries lining up to relieve the circus of their animals and have these sanctuaries been vetted to be a satisfactory new home for the lions, tigers and elephants?

  263. Pam turner says:

    Hurray .people now realise wild animals should not have to have a miserable life doong tricks to entertain them, about time.all circuses with animals closed curtains.

  264. Robin Crawford says:

    Happy. Happy. Happy, I’m crying tears of joy

  265. Dagmar says:

    I’m happy to read this, but….what will happen to all the animals? Will they be sold to roadside petting zoos or other small time circuses? That would be awful. Is the Humane Society following up on their fate?

  266. mark traversa says:

    The reason the circus failed is because elephants and other animal shows were removed from them. People stopped coming to the circus because the animals weren’t there to see.

    Your story has things backwards I think.

  267. Viv Morgan says:

    Viv Morgan
    At last! The cruelty at Ringling is over. Please send the animals you have to enjoy some decent life.

  268. Leticia López says:

    Muy buena noticia….!!!!, espero que los animales puedan vivir libremente en su habitat y que se adapten rapidamente a sus nuevas familias.

  269. Kristin Andersen says:

    Thank you for doing the right thing. I hope their will be job opportunities in the care and well being of these animals whom I’m sure are apart of many circus families. I hope that as entertainers new doors will open for you as well and that we can all work together to enrich the lives of everyone involved.

  270. Freya Davidson says:

    It is my opinion that the circus us shutting down because it is no longer profitable to run. I don’t think it is being shut down for humanitarian reasons. Having said that whatever the reason is I say YAY!

  271. Xiomara Mejia says:

    Thank you for fighting and for never give up on this animals! You guys have no idea how happy I am for this creation of God that deserve a better life; ” The more I know some humans the more I love my dog” is a phrase that I read in a book and is true how some humans can do so much harm to some innocent creatures….. Thank you again you guys are AWSOME!!!!!!!!

  272. rose guarini says:

    its great that these poor animals can finally be free and enjoy that ,no animal should go thru that they don’t need the animals if their people are good with other things in the show they would do just as good ,its always about money and power they don’t care about the animals. sorry that they have to close but they need to find other ways then using animals .their are other circuses that do not use animals and people like it.

  273. Susan Navas says:

    Thank you Ringling brothers!! We are a more humane world today.

  274. Myke says:

    What happens to all of the animals that they had used in their shows? Hopefully they aren’t put down but are given a second chance in a rescue facility or something? Is HSUS working with them to make sure the animals go to reputable organizations?

  275. Susan Trout says:

    This news makes me so very happy. Only people who refused to give thought to the lives of these animals and how miserable they must have been for so long are the ones who will lament the end of the circus. Since when is it right to keep elephants in chains every day and big cats confined to small enclosures when not being shipped across country in railroad cars, exposed to all sorts of temperatures extremes? One of Ringling’s lions succumbed to the heat in his boxcar during shipping sometime in the ’90’s. I pray that all the animals get to live in some semblance of peace and tranquility now. Bless all who have fought so hard to make this day a reality.

  276. Bonnie Porter says:

    I just want to say YEA YEA YEA the animals won’t have to put up with torture. I’m so thankful for all you do. I always sign many petitions. I love animals. Thank you again.

  277. Elizabeth A. Bartz says:

    The faster that severe punishment of entities such as Barnum & Bailey is
    meted out for mistreatment of animals “trained” to perform their in their
    “shows”, the better. The only way that the inhuman practice
    of causing pain and fear in animals will be stopped is to cause financial
    “Pain” and fear of severe punishment to entities such as
    BARNUM & BAILEY, who have been mistreating innocent animals to get
    them to perform “tricks” in their “shows” !! This is the primary way that
    those who mistreat animals will ever stop. They need to be totally
    flattened financially. This is the only “language” they understand.
    Hit them in the pocketbook, where it will hurt them the most !! AMEN !

  278. Andrea says:

    I am so glad these demeaning shows come to an end. At one of the protests at Staples Center, I’ve seen the elephants being led to the show, each with a handler, each one had a bullhook. It was such a depressing and upsetting sight for me as I couldn’t imagine why anyone would enjoy such a forced performance. This is such a major victory for the wild animals.
    I am not sure though what will become of the Feld’s elephant breeding center in Florida – I do hope it will close down as well.

    • Karen says:

      Breeding center in Florida? A place exists?!?!? Where??

      • Karen says:

        I wanna shut em down

      • Andrea says:

        Karen, this is the place where Ringling was breeding their elephants to get ‘new supply’ for their shows since it is illegal to take them from the wild like they did. This is where they did break the elephants, take them from their moms at a very young age. It is not a sanctuary, and the name ‘conservation center’ is a sham.
        There are already efforts underway, petitions etc. to get this place shut down.

  279. Patrick Fitzgerald says:

    Sooooo, what happens to the animals?

  280. Dolly Youssef says:

    Where will the circus animals go? I hope to an appropriate animal sanctuary, where they can roam free and also have adequate shelter from the elements.

    • natalie kasday says:

      I replied to someone else .. that I’ve read they will go to sanctuary’s.

    • Sylvia Mace says:

      I did read that the elephants will go to an animal retirement sanctuary in Florida. I do hope 5hat other animals will be taken care of that way.

  281. Talea Tyler says:

    Thank You. So happy to hear this, beyond words.

  282. GINNY says:

    This Circus should have been shut down a long time ago. The abuse of the Elephants and the Elephant Rampage down a Main St. That is unacceptable, Elephants should be in their own HABITAT, The JUNGLE, The Tigers, Panthers, Lions, Bears do not need to be Whipped for them to do a deed, They Growl because of the sound of the Whip It hurts their ears, the monkeys are stressed that’s why their hair is thinning, These Animals are not getting enough Food & Water. I believe all the Animals are stressed.




  283. Jacquie Vanderbilt says:

    Yes, way to go… one step forward.. Thank you ?????????????????

  284. Iris owens says:

    All I can say is: IT’S ABOUT TIME. The cruelty that goes on behind the scenes is beyond anything we can imagine. Circuses and zoos should be outlawed.

  285. Melvin Pimentel says:

    Are you kidding me! RB should not have a circus if they cannot compete with
    Circus de soleil

  286. Alyne16 says:

    Forward ho! Now let’s see the smaller circuses that fly under the radar close shop, too.

  287. Zahra says:

    Wonderful news. I wonder, though, what will happen to the animals, and the livelihoods of the human performers? What is the severance they will receive etc? Some information about these important fall outs in the coming days, in a follow up blog perhaps, would be most appreciated!

  288. Larry Buoncristiani says:

    Excellent News!!! Hope they find permanent caring forever homes for their animals….they’ve earned it

  289. marsha armstrong says:

    What will happen to the animals once they are not needed? Will they be sold to trophy shooting venues or horrible little roadside zoos? Having pushed for this result, the HSUS needs to do something to prevent the further torment and/or killing of the circus’s animals. I would be willing to contribute a small amount to a fund for their relocation to sanctuaries such as PAWS in Galt, Cal. or the Elephant Sanctuary in Tenn.

  290. Rusty Silversher says:

    For years I have been reading and hearing of the atrocities in the Philippines in the dog meat industry. Evidently, Brian Davis founder at networkforanimals.org
    who I’ve never heard of sent a solicitation to come aboard and donate. Not only do Philippine people put a ragged food can with sharp edges over the mouths of the animal, but, burn them alive. My question is, “Why Hasn’t The HS Int’l” stepped into the picture years ago to stop this? Thankfully, your making headway in Korea/China but, is the Philippines an orphan? Please advise.

  291. Kay says:

    The end of the Ringling Bros. circus is great news! Even as kids, my siblings and I never liked to see the circus animals perform, the lions and tigers getting whipped, the elephants being proddd to stand up, etc. I didn’t like seeng that as a child and feel the same way as an adult. Everyone I know feels like that. None of our families or friends go to circuses. I hope all other animal acts follow suit — it just isn’t cool anymore to exploit animals that way or to watch the exploitation. We’ll know we’re truly civilized when pet shops stop sellng animals and just stick to pet foods and supplies.

  292. Laurie K says:

    This is wonderful news but I too am concerned, as are others, as to the fate of the animals in the circus now.
    Ringling Bros. should, in good conscience, create sanctuary space or send their animals to vetted sanctuaries.
    It would be a cruel twist of fate if any of these creatures were sent to other traveling circuses or independently owned zoos…especially if sent to other countries.
    How will we know what happens?

  293. Betsy Mattuchio says:

    This is great news.Now hopefully these animals can retire with the dignity they so deserve.

  294. Lynne Johnson says:

    How can we find out what the plans are for all the animals? I know that there are sanctuaries for elephants with lots of room to roam and other elephants to socialize with but what is available for lions and tigers. I hope this isn’t “out of the frying pan and into the fire” as in small circuses and zoos where animals are still treated and housed very badly.

  295. Barbara Eisenhower says:

    Now if we can get all of the Seaworld locations shut down! That would be another huge step for God’s creatures.

  296. Marty Rice says:

    So glad this is happening. But where will the animals go and who will care for them? This must be addressed so the animals don’t go from 1 bad and inhumane situation to another. Hoping for a good outcome for all of them.

  297. Dee says:

    I am so happy the elephants,all animals, will be free as their suppose to be. I don’t like zoos and especially the circus and the horrible treatment they receives. Prayers have been answered. The animals, God’s creatures, should of never been treated and tortured like they were. Those were not the intentions of God. Enjoy, but not harm them.
    I collect shelf elephants, as to me their so majestic.
    Thanks for all the work Humane Society and all the non kill SPCA’s. I have a little toy Doxie we adopted 5 years ago and she is the light of our lives.

  298. Pamela Menard says:

    Although this is good news, It may not be the end for the animals. What happens to the animals Now? Will they be sold off to the highest bidder, donated in the name of science transferred to another (for profit) organization, such as zoos.
    I really hope and pray that they all will be retired to a reputable wildlife sanctuary with caretakers who truly appreciate all of these beautiful animals.
    They’ve been through so many years of abuse and unnatural life. Very few have ever experienced freedom to roam, freedom of choice or even freedom of companionship. I hope these are the freedoms they experience the rest of their lives. Peace for them all.
    But unfortunately, Elephants Never Forget

  299. Brandon says:

    I am a monthly supporter of the humane society but am disappointed the RB is closing. The hypocrisy of the writers on this blog is likely insane. We all support animals, that is why we are here. I attended the their circus last year and this year and would say that i believe that it would survive even without any animals. There is no way that the circus could survive without animals after the vilification that it has sustained. Clowns too have been assassinated as an offshoot to further destabilize the Circus in the public eye. The hypocrisy that I suspect is that many of you writing how bad the circus is do so after eating a full meal including meet, or driving on well appointed leather seats in your car, or wearing leather shoes or boots, or feeding your kids chicken mcnuggets while you tell them how bad the circus is. There are so many isolated animals that suffer at the hands of their pathetic owners who inflict daily deprivation from basic needs of survival such as food, water, or shelter that we must allocate our dollars and attention to. I care less about animals whose conditions are less than idillic but not likely as abusive as the humane society makes it out to be. These circus animals are important but don’t include them in the rank and files of dogs in crates in china going off to the slaughterhouse, or calves kept in crates to be slaughters as veal. Or chickens in overcrowded coops with their beaks cut off. The circus needed to divest from animal shows but did not need to go away altogether. This is a sad day for childhood everywhere. Cirque du soleil is a wonderful alternative but different and not a replacement of the 146 year old national treasure that has been Ringling Brothers. Obviously the practices of animal exploitation and our evolution to a more enlightened understanding of the animals and their needs should affect how the circus evolved. Slavery was abolished in 1865 but it took 100 years for white people to understand the concept of civil rights. We still don’t have it all right yet but it is a work in progress. I feel that Circus as a whole got a big bum rap.

  300. Loretta Guyett says:

    I was elated to hear that Ringling Brothers is finally “doing the right thing”. I could never bear to watch animals tortured and whipped into doing tricks for human amusement. If they want to really do the right thing they will make sure that all the animals find homes in peaceful and loving sanctuaries where they can live their lives out in warm sunny pastures with grass under their feet instead of concrete and chains wrapped around their legs. Big Cat Rescue in Tampa is a great sanctuary for the big cats and there are others as well around the country. Its the next best thing to being free and we owe it to them to provide that now that we used them in unnatural ways.

  301. William Sparks says:

    Sadly, our Nation has suffered a great loss with Mr. Feld’s business decision to close the great Ringling circus. The abuse of animals over time was not the norm but if it ever occurred, was an anomaly. Our planet will shortly lose all the wondrous elephants, not because of Ringling but because of we greedy humans. Animal activists’ zealotry denies future generations of the joy of the circus.

  302. Lani Gilliam, DVM says:

    Did you EVER consider what the fate of these animals will be after you people have “saved” them? Who amongst you will step up to the plate & care for these animals? They cannot be released back into the wild-they were born in captivity & have never known any other life. Most animal sanctuaries are over-filled now & cannot responsibly take in more. Most of these animals have not been abused or tortured. What about the people who cared for these animals & have now lost EVERYTHING while bleeding hearts think NOTHING of that aspect. As a veterinarian, I see daily cases of suffering animals, frequently from ‘do-gooders” that spew “I love animals” trash, & I AM the one that suffers just as much as the animals I have to care for. What about the idiots that spend thousands of dollars for a “designer dog” that is no different than any other mixed breed dog? Or the people that breed mares & bitches & NEVER consider the outcome & what will happen to these offspring, esp. if it not the desired outcome they were hoping for? Or the horrible fates of horses that have to travel to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered because the bleeding hearts didn’t think it right to have humane, monitored facilities in the US to take care of the unwanted horse population? How many of these folks REALLY know what happens to these animals that, for most of their lives,. aretaken care of until their usefulness is deemed over . We,as humans, have been given dominion over the animals of the world. For those of us who have dedicated our lives to keep them safe & healthy (as much as we can), it is reprehensible that people with no understanding can honestly look themselves in the mirror & think they are doing good. It is because of this, along with other stresses, that veterinarians have the highest suicide rate among ALL professions. I just could not let this article pass by me without venting.

    • Stacey McRae says:

      You sound like the dumbest vet I have ever heard!

      • Brandon says:

        Stacey, Why do comment with insults? Do you not have anything more substantiative to say. You do not have to agree with others but your responses are not telling us anything about why you disagree with us.
        “Grow-Up”, “Dumbest Vet” do nothing to enlighten any view point.

    • Jann says:

      I agree with your reality. I agree that HUSUS and all other animal rights groups must continue the fight to find secure true sanctuaries to care for these animals as well as all the others. One small victory with no real ending of where the animals will go, what is going to happen to them, is just that, one small victory. Too many animal sanctuaries are over crowded. These circus animals generally are not fully socialized. They have been so abused and neglected that they lash out at owners, trainers and at times just innocent people in the audience, then the animal is deemed dangerous and is murdered. Going from Ringling or roadside zoos or even regular zoos isn’t acceptable. They need sanctuaries, where they can be with ones of their own kind, in herds or prides etc… To live “free” of abuse… some may never fit that bill. They are so emotionally scared. If there isn’t a suitable sanctuary for all these animals, then all the animal welfare groups, including HUSUS must create one, with all the money each brings in, they must work together for the benefit of all these animals in need. I know there is a big cat sanctuary in Colorado. I heard of an elephant sanctuary in the south. I know there are many horse sanctuaries all over the country. I fight with my pen, but I would also fight with my hands… I would do all I could to help develop a sanctuary for these animals, building fences, mucking stalls, feeding , grooming, anything I could physically and emotionally do to get these animals to their forever “homes”….. Making their homes safe, loving, kind, everything they need.

    • C Brown says:

      Thanks for venting – that was very well said.

    • Audrey says:

      me too! They just don’t think it thru. Step in with no recourse.

    • Diana says:

      Thank you. You present some very good points and I do agree with some of them. It’s not unlike animal hoarders who continue taking in dogs, cats etc in order to “save” them while the animals live in miserable conditions. Authorities may intervene and remove them but the hoarder will simply collect new ones.

    • Callie says:

      And you’re a doctor?
      Wow! amazing you
      can still be so uneducated.

  303. natalie kasday says:

    It’s a shame people will loose there jobs .. which .. can’t be helped. The large animals have NO place in a circus. AND .. more a shame that people lost interest in the circus because there were no animals anymore. I admit .. dog acts I don’t have a problem with .. as long as they live with owners like any normal pet, and, when they are not performing .. they are kept in a large, comfortable area with room to run around with food & water. I would have gone to see acrobats, trapeze artists, trampoline acts, clowns, magic acts, etc. Cirque du Soleil Doesn’t use animals .. and it’s been around for many years and is very entertaining & successful.Ringling could have tried this.

  304. Brian Toohey says:


  305. Donna C says:

    I do applaud the decision to end the circus, no matter whether it was the economics or animal rights’ conditions that lead to it. I do fear what will happen to the animals – the elephants, horses, lions, tigers, bears etc. I do hope that Wayne Pacelle and the Humane Society keeps an eye out for these beautiful creatures! I also hope that Jack Hanna becomes involved!

    As for the performers, the backstage crew and all who worked for the circus, I do feel for them as they will be unemployed. I hope Feld Entertainment has some sort of a financial package for them – like a pension!

  306. Sylvia Mace says:

    We were little children in the town where the elephants would walk past. Mother would tell us to stay on the sidewalk as the large elephants would walk on a warm summer day.

    These were fond memories, not that I was aware of the abuse of any of them. However, as an adult I don’t think giving up Ringling Brothers Barnum an Bailey will get rid of animal abusers.

  307. Manel Dias says:

    I am over joyed to learn this Horrific animal abusers are finally closing their doors. Then again it is not because these Blood Thirsty Animal Abusers have suddenly become the Kinder spirited, compassionate individuals. IT IS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH SALES & INCOME TO RUN THIS ANIMAL ABUSING BUSINESS.

    These type of people will never be kind hearted or compassionate under any given time. Once they had their Blood thirsty crave to abuse any animal for the purpose of show business then they are always will be Evil. They have no heart for any animal welfare or their welfare. ALL these Circus owners needed was Money, fame & ego. Such Barbarians should never be allowed to walk the earth in the first place.
    People realized, how these Baby Elephants, & many other baby animals are being stolen from their mothers at their tender age, brought to Circus grounds, Imprisoned them for the rest of their life time. When teaching the animals of the human tricks while Torturing, abusing, beating & starving it is a pure hell for the animals and mental, physical torture they endure must be beyond imaginable.

    I am so glad for the people who understand this type of ANIMAL ABUSE IS NO LONGER TOLERATED by the Civilized Society. Such brain damaged backward Animal Circuses came to be live, so many years ago, when the people did not know any better. Or the people did not have much civilized way to think about the other animals welfare, feelings & their needs. We now live in a MODERN civilized era. We must understand to respect EVERY living being similarly…they too have feelings. They too know the Love.,Happiness, sadness, Pains & sufferings. I hope these poor defenseless animals who have undergone the massive mental sufferings will be finally see the light at the end of the Tunnel. PLEASE SEND THESE POOR ANIMALS WHO ARE HEART BROKEN WITHOUT HAVING THEIR FREEDOM SO FAR… to a accredited sanctuary to spend the rest of their lives the way they should have being…Thank you.

    • Audrey says:

      Not all were treated badly. Not all of these animals were mistreated. You make it sound if you might have been there to witness this abuse, or are you going off what has been written.Some of these animals have a real love for these people that fed and trained them. It would be like taking your animal always today with no explanation for why. These animals will moan the lose of the people they have known all their lives. No one is speaking of this They will just have to leave. I am not for the circus and the abuse that did happen, but not all was the way the MEDIA HAS PLAYED IT UP. Not all circus people HATED their animals or abuse, beat or stave them. It is sad that the media and the humane society has only shown all the bad. So now that you have won Why is no one saying where all these helpless animals are going. You fight to take it down with no recourse for the animals. But You WON. It is like taking the dog meat away from families that only know dog meat. What are you feeding them. The dogs are saved and a family might starve! Was any of all of this thought thru? Ringling Brothers Barnum an Bailey now have all these animal to find homes for with strangers that may be worse than what You just got them out of.( Just Sayin)

  308. Claudette says:

    I hope that the Humane Society will be diligent in helping to find suitable refuges for these fine animals that have suffered so long.

    If the animals languish in unsuitable surroundings and care, this is not much of a victory.

    Victory will be won when the animals are in a safe, clean facility with suitable care.

  309. Cheryl conway says:

    How can we follow the welfare of the remaining animals ?

  310. Karen says:

    No words can describe this finally happening! All my life I’ve hated circus, zoo & animals in laboratories. I can not help but to wonder, where are these precious creatures going to go???? Where is the….sanutarty or home they can live out their life??? They can’t certainly be ‘put’ back in the wild. God did not create animals for our profit. These people did these animals wrong. We need to make sure these beautiful, mistreated animals are well cared for, for the rest of their life.

  311. Animal lover says:


  312. Josephine Carter says:

    Finally… I am very very happy and please that these poor animals are now FREE
    Freedom??? sooo happy
    Thanks to everyone involved in making this s reality…. Love you all❤️❤️❤️

  313. Deena says:

    This is great news they are shutting down. However the HSUS needs to follow and help make sure those animals get a better life. That they can retire somewhere no longer on chains, confined nor abused. The circus world with animals should be banned. The way to get those animals to do their tricks is to inflict pain. These animals I can only hope will get a better home and not end up in a worse situation. That is what I want to know, that the HSUS will help with.

  314. Lauren says:

    People voted with their wallets and finally the word got through! I just hope someone steps in to get the animals rehomed to reputable sanctuaries. If these animals are considered “business assets” they might be sold to the highest bidder (or “thrown away”) — and we will have failed them again! Wayne, please help them rehome these magnificent creatures.

  315. Sydney says:

    As a child, I just assumed that all the animals involved in a circus were treated like royalty; fed and looked after and cared for meticulously, since these animals were the “bread and butter” of the circus. Before putting wheels in motion for Ringling Bros to close their tent flaps (doors), did anyone take into consideration what would happen to these animals if that ever actually happened? Where will they go? Could they possibly end up in an even worse situation than they were at Ringling Bros.? Will they be able to be cared for properly; given love and reassurance that they will be able to live out the remainder of their lives with dignity? And unfortunately, they’re still not going to be able to be “free” (wild), as God fully intended them to be from the very beginning. So, I guess I’m just asking….did we truly help these animals at all? Was it possibly better for them to be in the circus, where they are at least being fed and cared for as well as possible by people they have known all their lives as their owners/trainers, or doom them to a life in a zoo or sanctuary where they could possibly be placed in an area and be all alone? I’m just asking folks, that’s all. I’d also like to add…….I’m assuming there is hard-core evidence and proof that Ringling Bros. was actually abusing these animals, or are we all simply assuming the worst, because this is what was fed to us through the media and animal rights activists? I’m not saying that these animals weren’t abused (they may very well have been), however, I think it’s wrong of us to just assume they are/were abused without having any definite, hard, concrete evidence. Perhaps there is (or has been) concrete evidence that I haven’t seen or heard about though, so my apologies if that is the case. I try to stay informed about such things, however, I haven’t been keeping up with circus animals being abused. My sincere apologies if this has been definitely proven. I suppose there’s no one, right solution for these animals now though; it’s definitely a quandary to know what the next step should be (to me, at least anyway). My prayer is that these animals will end up somewhere where they will be cared for, loved and treated with dignity until they take their last breaths and that they won’t have to live out the remainder of their lives being alone.

    • Andrea says:

      Sydney, you will find all the evidence of abuse in ‘The Cruelest Show on Earth’ by Mother Jones from 2010. All the documents are there about elephants’ deaths, the whippings and abuse.

  316. Richard Hamedl says:

    As my late father use to say, “persistence pays off” !

  317. Diane says:

    This is such great news!! I am overjoyed!
    HSUS keep up your good work – amazing!!

  318. Trisha Beneventi says:

    It’s about time and long over due!!! there is no reason that people need to be entertained by animals doing things like standing on their heads or jumping through hoops. It’s not bad enough people use their fur to make coats or their skin to make furniture & I hope someday it will all come to a halt. I can only hope these abused beautiful creatures get to live the life they should have always lived before the humans took that from them.

  319. henry says:

    What to stop them from sending them to these hunting farms where are they going they may to going someplace worse than the circus no one saying anything

  320. Jean Paul Carriere says:

    This should have happened YEARS ago.

  321. Karen Kindel says:

    I have been involved in circus protests in my town for years, so I am rejoicing in the end of Ringling. I will continue to protest the smaller shows, Kelly Miller, etc. Animals are not ours to exploit as entertainment They have their own intrinsic value outside the realm of humans. Thank you HSUS for all you do.

  322. Renee says:

    FINALLY!! These poor animals are going to be free from going through years of cruelty and abuse to put a show for selfish humans!!!
    As a vegeterian I think we should also stop killing them for food .
    Although I know being a vegeterian is not a easy for everyone but just think about it if we really love animals we need to stop killing them for food .

  323. Jann says:

    Definitely a great decision on Ringlings part, but for a true full victory we must get every single animal out of Ringlings hands lock, stock, and barrel and get them into a certified sanctuary. Every single animal needs to go to true sanctuaries, not sold to roadside zoos or an other abusive situation. These poor creatures have suffered enough for too many years for the enjoyment of humans who never thought about the abuse they suffered because it’s been and is still covered up. Babies stripped from their mothers…. Etc. The abuses these animals suffered is unconscionable. I agree with the commentor that said …”those that abused the animals should pay a price of some kind, fines, jail…..” We now have one battle won, now we need more, the animals getting out of Ringlings hands, out of roadside zoos and other horrible situations and into true, wonderful sanctuaries where they are not mistreated, that they are cared for, loved, fed, can make friends of their own kind, live free and know what they were robbed of so many years ago…. We must keep fighting for every animal caught in unbelievable conditions. They have no voice but ours. We must all speak out! We can’t stop at this one victory. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!! Onward to more victories. God bless these beautiful creatures.

  324. Lynne says:

    Thank G_d Ringling are closing, but please HSUS let’s follow-up on the elephants, tigers, and the other animals wellbeing, as I have heard Ringling’s so-called sanctuary does not give them the freedom and love they deserve. They are still chained, confined, etc. Please let’s not forget about these beautiful animals and I pray that they are put in loving sanctuaries.

  325. C Brown says:

    Like the many of the comments on this blog, I wonder too where will these animals go? Where does a large cat or an elephant retire? They need a LOT of food; specialized vet care; and safe space. Born Free is a great movie, but it’s not reality. There are already scores of private “sanctuaries,” some of which are legit and some of which are scams. But all of them have to beg for contributions. Do you think the HSUS execs are going to take a pay cut to support these sanctuaries? Not bloody likely.

    The real “victory” will be if animal welfare organizations like HSUS and others will come up with a viable alternative. Unfortunately, it’s more likely after “bringing down the curtain,” they’ll congratulate themselves and walk away.

  326. Mary Dempsey says:

    Over 50 times the question was asked “Where are the animals going ?” bjt HSUS never actually addressed if. This is a wonderful happening only if the lives of the animals will be bettered and monitored.There are many safe places, sanctuaries that are closer to real habitats for them. Answer us, please. WHERE ?

    • Andrea says:

      Mary, you need to ask this question to Feld Entertainment, not the HSUS. There are petitions already out there asking Feld to retire their animals to sanctuaries.

  327. pat says:

    need to crack down hard on those dog fighters.
    fight to make states charge a yearly fee on all those people that buy/own/sell large snakes, lizards,spiders and the list goes on. where once a year a vet has to inspect those animals for tag license to own such creatures.
    part of those funds can go to the HSUS and local animal pounds.

  328. Brooke says:

    Great, but who is going to take on these animals for there retirement? Zoos are also hurting due to lack of guests? Who has the means to help ALL these animals once they are not used for profit anymore? Is the Humane Society,SPCA, PETA Or donators going to see they have proper habitats, medical treatment & food? They still have long road ahead of them.

  329. Doreen Kassa says:

    Thank you to all the organizations and people that fought this long fight to put an end to Ringling Brothers Circus. I am praying that the poor creatures that were forced in to performing will be able to live out their lives free from any type of human exploitation. It is my hope that they will all find a forever home at a reputable animal sanctuary where they could live out their lives in peace.

  330. d. marie says:

    Shame on you. I suppose if you lived in ancient Rome you would have been delighted to go to the coliseum to see the animals slaughtered, a form of entertainment for that timeframe. Think of yourself as being the elephant in the circus, tethered by a chain, whipped into submission to perform unnatural tricks, transferred by non air-conditioned railroad cars etc. for the enjoyment of an audience. Get a life and learn about something called empathy and love for the creatures that inhabit the earth with us.

  331. Monika Courtney says:

    Where are the animals going ?
    Will they be retired to sanctuaries?
    Or sold to other circuses?

  332. Rea Gerhart says:

    Thank you all! I only been to Ringling’s once over 40 years ago on a date. Had to leave maybe 40 min’s into it & couldn’t stop crying & yes people around me was thinking I was nuts. My daughter & granddaughter has also never seen the show(if that is what you would call it) No zoo’s also. Now I love wearing my tee that say’s BE A ANIMAL FRIEND & DON”T GO TO THE CIRCUS!! And ANIMALs Rules!! Hugs Rea a proud member for about 20 years HSUS

  333. Carol Paquette says:

    Wake up, Teresa. You apparently don’t or won’t recognize what cruelty is. People who are entertained by animals acts apparently have very low IQs.

  334. Brandon says:

    Ok so i get it. lets go after the NFL next for using pigskin in the football, then baseball for the cowhide. The whole sum total of these endeavors are invalid because an animal was harmed in the making of the production. And how about service dogs? Their training is appalling to get them to live the strictest life they might as well be caged up. Maybe the elephant likes the activity and the attention. Maybe the bullhook is not much different than the pecking order they have in the wild. Maybe good people mean well, but to mean well and do well are not always the same thing. Maybe these animals will be worse off. maybe they won’t. Maybe the RB circus has treated their animals well for the last decade and people are judging something as though it was 1950. Maybe the animals should be released to the streets so they can roam anywhere they choose cause they should have the right to do so. Maybe all animals should be released to the streets. Maybe the cows at the farm don’t want to give us milk everyday. maybe they should unionize. God I am so sick of stupid people who think that RB is as evil as some pathetic dog owner who chains his dog up in the garage for a week while he goes away and leaves the dog no food and water. God I am so sick of people who can not see the shades of difference. So shut up and go help some syrian refugee who is truly suffering and needs your help, and stop generalizing that all circus animals are mistreated

    • Tawnya says:

      Brandon why are you commenting. This is a sight for animal rights? No one on here wants animals to be tortured. You are just making us push harder. If you want to be evil we are not interested in your old world thoughts. We are interested in a better new world. If you like torture and mayhem there are lots of better old world sights who would love your hate rants. Just avoid animals and probably children in the meantime. Sheesh. HSUS IS THE FUTURE.

      • Brandon says:

        i share your interest and concern for animals and believe they should have been eliminated from the circus along with the free shows decades ago. I merely am saying that the circus has plenty to offer even without the animals. So you only like to here from others who share your exact view point? Why bother?

  335. sam says:

    Yea they are finally shutting down. I have sent so many letters, emails to anyone even the usda for not doing their job. Have also gotten in many arguments because people say it was such fun taking their children to the circus , okay but what about elephants that they leave standing in barn for 22 hrs a day ,they have medical problems that don’t even get looked at, and tigers that had tp perform with gaping wounds. Remember the elephant they KILLED IN HAWAI NAMED TYKE THAT WAS SO SAD .SHE JUST WANTED OUT. IM SO HAPPY FOR ALL THE ANIMALS TIGERS ,LIONS ITS ABOUT TIME.I wished all of the circuses would shut down.

  336. Joan Bundy says:

    Excellent news for animals! After a century and a half, it’s about time! You can still have entertainment without animal cruelty. (Just FYI, it’s spelled “Cirque du Soleil.”)

  337. Ryan H. says:

    What are your thoughts on the abuse of that German Shepherd in the film A Dog’s Life, as leaked by TMZ? I was disgusted and amazed that people could even begin to try justifying it.

  338. Carmen says:

    Aqui en España, también somos muchos los que luchamos por el bienestar de los animales, tratando de impedir con nuestra lucha que los utilicen, maltraten y les causen un sufrimiento indecible, de forma cobarde, solamente para lucrarse y divertirse a su costa, ya que soy seres indefensos que no pueden defenderse. Mi sufrimiento es indecible.
    Yo tengo 5 dogs, dos cats and 6 gens en completa libertad aqui en el campo donde vivo. Todos son rescatados de perreras y de la calle. Ellos son mis compañeros y los que me alegran la vida. Por ellos me he hecho vegetariana
    Yo me alegro y celebro infinito cualquier victoria en favor de todos los animales que se merecen nuestra compasión y nuestro cariño y amor.

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