Ringling Bros. Removing Elephants from Traveling Circuses

Feld Entertainment Inc.'s announcement said the decision will allow the company to focus on its Asian elephant conservation programs, both here in North America and through its partnership with Sri Lanka, and continue collaborating with other conservation organizations.

Feld Entertainment Inc., parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, announced March 5 that it will remove the Asian elephants from their traveling circus performances. Thirteen elephants now traveling with the three Ringling Bros. circus units will be relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant for Conservation® in Florida by 2018, joining the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants.

Based in Ellenton, Fla., and owned by the Feld Family, Feld Entertainment reported that its center already is home to the largest herd of Asian elephants and has the most successful breeding program for this endangered species in the Western Hemisphere. Its announcement said the decision will allow the company to focus on its Asian elephant conservation programs, both here in North America and through its partnership with Sri Lanka, and continue collaborating with other conservation organizations. Feld Entertainment has placed elephants at eight zoos, either on loan or through donations, and will continue to support the Smithsonian Institution's research lab working to find cures for diseases that affect juvenile elephants.

"This is the most significant change we have made since we founded the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in 1995. When we did so, we knew we would play a critical role in saving the endangered Asian elephant for future generations, given how few Asian elephants are left in the wild," said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. "Since then, we have had 26 elephant births. No other institution has done or is doing more to save this species from extinction, and that is something of which I and my family are extremely proud. This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants, and our customers."

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