The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus said it will be phasing elephants out of its performances to the extent that they will be completely phased out by 2018. Better late than never. Per the article: 

 

....But, bowing to criticism from animal rights groups, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced Thursday it will phase out use of their emblematic Indian stars. The company said the giant pachyderms will be gradually withdrawn from the big top, and will be gone from the show altogether by 2018....Thirteen of the animals currently part of the circus' migrating entourage will be relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, the company said.

 

http://news.discovery.com/animals/zoo-animals/ringling-bros-to-phas...

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Same here.

They ought to do the same thing with the big cats.  A friend dragged me to my very first circus when I was in my late 40s, and I was appalled at the tiny holding cages they kept the tigers in out in the parking lot before the show (that was when Gunter Gebel Williams was still the BIG star of Ringling Bros, et al.).

It seems like they could treat animals well and still have a good show, but perhaps it's too expensive.

It reminds me of that nasty Thomas Edison, that electrocuted animals to show how dangerous AC electricity was, because it was in conflict with his DC electricity plans to supply electricity to the nation.

That is absolutely horrifying. I remember seeing it many years ago and thinking how cruel it was. Edison is supposed to have believed in life after death and wanted to invent a device to hear the supposed voices of the dead. After being so cruel to an innocent animal I wonder what he expected to hear from them? Wouldn't it be nice if he would have to answer to that elephant?

 

http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/edisons-lost-idea-a...

It is quite horrible to anyone that cares about animals.

Not entertaining to me either.  When I was young, I wanted something challenging to shoot at with my BB gun, so I fired a couple of shots at a bird, and was surprised when I hit it.

When I saw that poor thing hit the ground, I was so sorry, I never shot at another animal for sport or target practice.

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