Nearly a dozen circus elephants have been retired after performing their final show with Ringling Brothers' Barnum and Bailey Circus. This move follows years of pressure by animal rights activists.
The "Greatest Show on Earth" is letting go of its biggest performers. Eleven elephants performed their final show Sunday night, ending a 200-year spectacle that has intrigued fans while angering animal rights activists.
It's all part of a major shift in attitude towards using animals as entertainment. The elephants will now head to a 200-acre conservation in Florida run by the owner of Ringling Brothers.
"It is a bittersweet decision, there is no question about that, but it is the best thing, and we felt this was the right time to do it," said Kenneth Field, CEO of Feld Entertainment.
Not all animal acts have ended for this circus. Ringling Brothers says it will continue to use other animals like lions, tigers, and horses in their acts.