Success: Circus Elephants to Be Phased Out

Baby Circus Elephant in Training

Target: Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle

Goal: Applaud efforts leading to the cessation of using elephants in circus shows.

Feld Entertertainment just announced that the use of elephants in circus shows put on by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be phased out, meaning that no more elephants will have to endure cramped conditions and abusive training practices at the hands of these “entertainers.” Citing increasing pressures from anti-circus and animal welfare groups, the CEO of Feld Entertainment has said that gradually releasing their elephants and refraining from using any others in the future is in the best interest of the company.

Elephants are clearly highly intelligent and emotional animals. They’re capable of crying and are often observed mourning dead herd members or becoming depressed under poor conditions. Circuses not only deprive elephants of sufficient space to roam and often chain them up, they’re frequently caught using cruel training methods such as using sharp hooks and other physical punishments if the animals don’t do as they’re told.

Thanks to animal rights advocates across the globe, Feld Entertainment is finally heeding popular opinion. Multitudes of petitions like ForceChange’s Stop Elephant Cruelty at Ringling Bros. Circus have convinced them that they will only lose money by continuing to mistreat elephants by forcing them to perform. Now, the entire herd will be gradually relocated to a conservation center in Florida as more space and resources are prepared for them.

By signing this petition, you’ll thank the U.S. Humane Society–an organization that has been at the forefront of the fight against Feld Entertainment–for their tireless efforts in securing freedom for these mistreated animals. Hopefully they will soon be able to end the use of other animals such as lions and tigers in these circus shows as well.


Dear Mr. Pacelle,

I understand that you recently secured a huge victory in the battle for animal welfare by convincing Feld Entertainment to phase out the use of elephants in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus acts. This is wonderful news for these intelligent and emotionally complex animals who have long faced imprisonment and abuse at the hands of these cruel “entertainers.”

I wanted to thank you for your hard work in fighting legal battles against Feld Entertainment, raising awareness of the abuse these elephants face, and putting pressure on the company until the CEO was finally convinced that using these animals is no longer profitable.  Thanks to you, these elephants will finally be allowed the freedom and protection they deserve.

It’s my profound hope that you will keep up the pressure on other circus companies and on Feld Entertainment to release all non-domestic animals from their involuntary participation in circus shows. You’ve proven that with enough effort and persistence, you can effect real change. Thank you again for saving these elephants.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Heather Norwood via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Christine Luffey says:

    This is great news! Many thanks!

  2. the only way this news could be better is if they stopped the elephant acts now, not in 3 years.

  3. Carolyn Barber says:

    I agree that this is a win but they need to be sent to a true sanctuary like The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. The one in Florida is still run by the circus. Recently it was on the local Tampa news that they will be used for medical research for cancer. It is not known what that really means or what they will have to endure.

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