Ringling Bros. to stream final circus after 146-year run

Nick Sanchez
June 1, 2017

Sunday is the world's last chance to see "The Greatest Show on Earth" when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performs its final three shows at NYCB Live's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

Feld chose to fold its tent as a result of high operating costs combined with lower ticket sales, it said in a statement at the time. He led the circus performers, crew and audience through an emotional rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Many in the audience had tears.

As for the circus animals, a spokesperson said they will have new homes- almost 80 of them have been placed in different homes around the country.

He welcomes in Ringling Bros Ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson to discuss the Greatest Show on Earth and its final performance this coming Sunday.

"It's 146 years of tradition, older than American baseball", said David Gregg, a clown from Hollywood, Fla.

PETA has always been an outspoken critic of Ringling's use of elephants - and it's still protesting the circus' use of other animals, including big cats, horses, kangaroos and small farm animals.

Feld Entertainment and the circus' workers have repeatedly denied any claims of animal mistreatment, and spokesman Payne said they had found homes for all of the approximately 50 animals with the show.

"It's incredibly heartwarming to see all of you that have come out for the final performance", Kenneth Feld, chairman and chief executive of parent Feld Entertainment Inc, said at the show, which was sold out and live streamed on the Ringling website.

"Circuses around the world that beat Ringling to the punch in making the decision to stop using animals are thriving". After phasing out the elephants, the owner said, the decline in attendance was "greater than could have been anticipated". For example, trainer Alexander Lacey's famous big cats will remain with him, he said, while the show's other tigers will go to a center that specializes in tigers.

"Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop".

The Humane Society of the United States, a longtime critic of the show's animal welfare practices, acknowledged that Ringling Bros. has made changes over the past century and a half, but claims the changes didn't happen quickly enough. "But Ringling stonewalled for decades", PETA said in a statement Saturday.

A second unit of the traveling circus closed this month in Providence, R.I.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

Discuss This Article