Ringling Brothers with Retire Their Elephants in May

Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com
Laguna Woods, California
January 11, 2016 2:48pm CST
Traveling elephants, which have been part of the Ringling Brothers Circus for the past 145 years, are going into retirement in May, 2016. The elephants the circus currently owns will be moved to a Florida Conservation Park and new elephants will not be brought into the circus. Personally, I am pleased by the decision. I have seen the Ringling Brothers Circus and been amazed by some of the human acts. I do not feel there is big need for animal acts. After all, look at how well the Cirque du Soleil has done for the past few decades, and animals have never been part of their act. Their shows have become so popular that they have a number of shows traveling around the U.S., as well as several permanent shows in Las Vegas. I have seen some of their shows and enjoyed them just as much as the Ringling Brothers Circus. What do you think about animal acts in the circus? Do you think they are necessary? I want to add to this article that I have read that every year approximately 30,000 elephants are killed for their ivory. There are only 11 elephants with the Ringling Brothers Circus. When I consider this, it seems that having elephants entertain us is not so bad, especially if we fail to protect the ones that live in the wild.
11 people like this
12 responses
@lokisdad (4306)
• United States
11 Jan 16
i think for the children mostly not so much for us adults. I suppose it has a magic like appeal to the children. Seeing live animals performing what seems to be impossible by animals that are known to be wild being tame and gentle my children loved it. i think always bringing in younger animals and retiring the older ones is a good idea.
4 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jan 16
I agree that it seemed like magic to watch the animals perform when I was a child. However, it is also nice to know that the elephants will live out their lives in a more natural habitat.
@Marcyaz (36111)
• United States
12 Jan 16
@lokisdad It is magical to see animals perform at the circus and children and grownups both enjoy the circus.
2 people like this
@lokisdad (4306)
• United States
12 Jan 16
@Marcyaz they make a killing with the mark ups $22 for a $5 toy flash light but its worth it good memories.
2 people like this
@just4him (92365)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
11 Jan 16
I'm divided. I liked seeing the elephants in the circus, but understand it's a good thing to retire them.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jan 16
I understand how you could feel divided. We have all enjoyed the animal shows. I feel the same way about the killer whales at Sea World. I hate to see them in their tanks, but I would never have seen one in real life, otherwise.
1 person likes this
@just4him (92365)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
12 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane True. I've been to Sea World in San Diego when we lived there. We had Ringling Brother's Circus here several years ago. I totally enjoyed the show and the elephants.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
13 Jan 16
@just4him - Yes, these are tough decisions, aren't they? Sea World also does a lot of good helping injured sea mammals like dolphins and whales.
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@jaboUK (50722)
• United Kingdom
11 Jan 16
I really would rather animals remained in their natural habitat, or zoos if they need to breed them. I loved the circus as a child, but now realise that the animals are doing unnatural tricks for our amusement.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jan 16
I agree. I always enjoyed seeing the animals in a circus, but now realize that this is not a natural arrangement for them. On the other hand, I have heard that 30,000 elephants a year are killed for their ivory. That is far worse than putting a few in a circus.
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (36111)
• United States
11 Jan 16
I always liked the animals acts in the circus and will miss the elephants, it will not be the same without them so I probably won't go any more.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jan 16
That's a good point. I wonder if the circus will see smaller crowds. I would hate to see the circus phased out.
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@Marcyaz (36111)
• United States
12 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane I would image that younger people who never saw the elephants at the circus would go because they have no idea about the elephants in the first place. I know I would miss them.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
13 Jan 16
@Marcyaz - Yes, you make a good point. Without zoos and circus animals, most people would never see these animals in real life. That would also be a shame.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 16
I still think it is not correct for humans to keep wild animals in captivity, unless we do so to help the injured or help with a needed breeding program. One very wrong situation, like killing an elephant for his ivory, does not excuse the other.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
13 Jan 16
That's true that one issue does not excuse the other. However, it did bother me that I have heard so much more about the 11 elephants that Ringling Brothers owns than I have about the 30,000 that are killed every year for their ivory. I would like to see more indignation about that!
2 people like this
• United States
13 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane It is not as visible as the Circus, so the media does not cover it much outside of the areas where it is happening. The Circus comes close to home, so to speak. The illegal and immoral slaughter overseas does not. Pity.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
14 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace - Yes, it is a pity.
1 person likes this
@GreatMartin (4314)
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
12 Jan 16
I read about that and my friend Maria in Australia will be thrilled---she visits an elephant conservation park in Bali and works there free every year for about 2 months. I am against any animal cruelty including stupid people who dress their pets up to be laughed at--doesn't seem like much but it is cruel!
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
14 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane We don't treat other creatures well on our planet!!
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
14 Jan 16
@GreatMartin - You are right that we do not treat the creatures very well on our planet.
• United States
15 Jan 16
I haven't been to a circus in many, many years but I don't think I'd miss an elephant act if they retired them
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jan 16
I'm happy the elephants will be retired, although I hope that zoos continue to be able to have elephants.
@valmnz (13199)
• New Zealand
14 Jan 16
I first saw the Ringling Bros Circus here in New Zealand in the 1950s. I love elephants, but am pleased with their decision. I also agree with you , that possibly elephants in captivity are not as at risk as those in the wild.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
15 Jan 16
Yes, it bothers me that so many are slaughtered in the wild. At least they are safe when we keep them in captivity ... as sad as that is.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (59793)
• United States
11 Jan 16
I enjoyed the animal acts over the many years I have seen them perform. It may be inhumane, so that's better for them. I so love animals, and wouldn't want them to suffer in any way, even in zoos.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jan 16
I agree. I would not want to see the animals suffer, although I have enjoyed the animal acts throughout my life, too. I know I enjoy seeing animals in zoos, but I do like it best when they have really large compounds, and not small enclosures or cages.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
17 Jan 16
I am completely in favor of it. Using animals for our entertainment, often with brutal training methods is an immoral act. It is just an extension of the "dancing bear" with the chain around his neck, it seems to me.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
18 Jan 16
You are right that they often use brutal methods to train the animals. Have you and Anne ever gone to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It is not in the same location as the zoo. It has 3500 animals on an 1800 wildlife preserve. A train goes around the perimeter, which allows you to see the animals in a semi-natural setting. They actually brought plants over from Africa and Asia so the elephants, hippos, giraffes and other animals can roam freely. When they breed and produce excess animals, they reintroduce them to their native countries from time to time.
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• Eugene, Oregon
18 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane That sounds like a good way to help preserve the various species, and more humane than zoos and performances.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Jan 16
@JamesHxstatic - Yes, it is much more humane than zoos and performances. I wish there were more places like the Safari Park. My husband and I have been visiting there since it was started in the 1970's. We liked it even better then, when it was far away from any surrounding communities. There are a few hillside homes that now have a view of it. Of course, I think it would be cool to live in Southern California and have a view of herds of wild elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos and antelope.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (101133)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Jan 16
I don't suppose they are necessary but I only went to circuses for the animal acts. Although it's good they've been phased out, I'm still pleased I got to see some before that time.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jan 16
Yes, I have mixed feelings about it, too. I would have been disappointed to never see an animal show.
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@JudyEv (101133)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane We saw some great acts when I was young. Tigers, lions, panthers all mixed in the one cage, was one act I remember. People's thinking has changed such a lot. I wouldn't enjoy it so much now and would feel a bit ashamed if I did!
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
13 Jan 16
@JudyEv - Yes, the attitude towards animal shows have changed quite a bit over the years. I loved those shows when I was young but now ... not as much.
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@TheHorse (52932)
• Pleasant Hill, California
14 Jan 16
I'd have to hang out with the animals and their trainers for a year or two to know. I rarely trust what I read.
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• Laguna Woods, California
15 Jan 16
That is a good point. I don't know what is worse ... leaving them in the wild where they are slaughtered by the thousands OR putting them in circuses and zoos where they live in smaller quarters, but they are safe.
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