The Ringling Bros' Elephants Just Gave Their Final Performance Ever

Andrew Kelly/reuters

There is no longer an elephant in the room (thank God).

Circuses are the hot dogs of family entertainment. They're super great and everyone loves events that involve them, but deep down, you know they're made of some super shady stuff. You go and enjoy them anyway, but the whole time in the back of your head, you're like, “... This is pretty f*cked up.”

One of the most f*cked-up parts of the circus has always been the animals kept there, specifically the elephants. They always just look super depressed when they're performing, kind of just moping through trained movements with dead eyes covered in jewels, exactly like runway models.

Thankfully, after years of protest from animal rights groups and anyone with a heart, that is part of the past now.

After 145 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus used elephants for the last time on Sunday during shows in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

According to a press release, the retired elephants will now join the group's Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, which admittedly has come under its own batch of scrutiny for being a subpar home for retired animals.

Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, elaborated in the release, saying,

The elephants' move to Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation will allow the company to focus on its Asian elephant conservation program and the pediatric cancer research partnership with Dr. Joshua Schiffman of Primary Children's Hospital and The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, all while continuing to provide a unique family experience at the circus with the next edition of The Greatest Show On Earth®.

This year has been a bit of a slam dunk for animal activists. The move to stop elephants being used in circus shows comes a few weeks after SeaWorld announced it would stop breeding orca whales for its parks.

Citations: Ringling Bros Elephants Are Officially Retired (Huffington Post)