News that broke this week prompted GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump to send out word via Twitter that “the circus will never be the same.” The tweet came in response to the announcement that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will retire its elephants permanently in May.
The U.K. publication The Telegraph reports that Feld Entertainment, the circus’ parent company, had planned to end the elephant act in 2018, but moved up the timeline after Los Angeles and Oakland, among other cities, banned the bull hook used to control elephants. With the ban, circus officials said it had become “impractical” to tour. Another factor was information from the Centers for Disease Control that seven Oregon Zoo workers had contracted TB from three elephants there.
The 11 remaining elephants will reportedly live in a Florida elephant conservation center with 31 other elephants.