Victory! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Has Shut Down!
After 146 years and a "dramatic drop" in ticket-sales, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed its curtains for the final time and we were there to lead the very final protests of its cruel acts, urging the public to build on this momentum by never buying a ticket to any circus or abusement park that still uses live animals.
Read about these demonstrations, and LION President John Di Leonardo's fight against animal abuse on Long Island—which began at Ringling in Nassau Coliseum, in this profile piece in the LI Herald.
Victory! Ringling Bros. eliminates elephant acts.
Citing growing public concern over “how the animals are treated," Ringling has taken the long-suffering elephants exploited for their shows off the road.
“There’s been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers,” said Alana Feld, the company’s executive vice president. “A lot of people aren’t comfortable with us touring with our elephants.”
However, Ringling's announcement came too late for 8-month-old baby Riccardo who was killed after he fractured his hind legs during a training exercise involving ropes and bullhook, 3-year-old Kenny who died after he was forced to perform despite defecating blood, and 2-year-old Mike who died from elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus—a highly fatal disease linked to the stress of captivity—at Ringling Bros. Florida prison camp more than 7 months after the elephants were taken off the road.
It also does nothing for lions like Clyde, who was baked to death in a Ringling box-car, and Arnie, who was shot to death in a locked cage.
(Above: LION President John Di Leonardo speaks to Reuters about elephants and other animals will still suffer unless they are sent to sanctuary.)
Hear it from Long Island Native Alec Baldwin
Since 1990, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus over 150 times for Animal Welfare Act non-compliances, including improper handling of dangerous animals, failing to provide injured animals with necessary or adequate veterinary care, causing trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, and unnecessary discomfort to two elephants who sustained injuries when they ran amok during a performance, endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of the enclosures, failing to test elephants for tuberculosis (TB), and unsanitary feeding practices. Since 1992, at least 35 elephants, including five babies, have died on Ringling's watch.