Success: Ringling Brothers to Eliminate Elephant Acts


Target: Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment

Goal: Thank Ringling Bros. for eliminating elephants from their acts.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will soon be eliminating elephants from their acts. This action comes amid outcry from animal welfare organizations, including our friends here at ForceChange, who have accused traveling circuses of being cruel to their animals. According to a report in NBC news, the elephants will be relocated to a conservation center in Florida by 2018. The CEO of the company that runs the circus, Kenneth Feld, says that this is the biggest change they have made to the organization since 1995, when they founded the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation.

Many have questioned the ethics of forcing a group of elephants to perform stunts in front of a live audience. Some have even accused the circus of being downright abusive toward the elephants, prodding them with painful bullhooks, an issue that has also been covered on ForceChange. It is widely known that elephants are highly intelligent creatures. According to an article in Scientific American, “They are adept tool users and cooperative problem solvers; they are highly empathic, comforting one another when upset; and they probably do have a sense of self.” The decision of Ringling Bros. to end the exploitation of these animals should be commended.

Please sign this petition to thank the CEO of Feld Entertainment for making the decision to eliminate elephants from the circus shows.


Dear Mr. Feld,

I was happy to learn that Feld Entertainment will soon be eliminating elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus shows. I feel that this was a good decision because it ends the exploitation of elephants in your shows. Many animal experts will tell you that elephants are extremely intelligent creatures. They have the ability to use tools and solve complex problems. Although elephants are magnificent creatures that the public should see, I worry that their use in circuses is exploitative. They should be in the wild, or at least in a zoo that mimics their natural environment, not forced to dance for the entertainment of humans.

In addition, some people have expressed concern that the elephants have been tormented by their keepers in the past. Horrific information has come to light that alleged terrible abuse of elephants in your circus. I believe that this action will help prevent frustrated zookeepers from smacking the elephants with bullhooks.

I hope that this action will set a precedent for other traveling circuses. I commend you on this decision, and I hope that you continue to make good decisions with regards to the humane treatment of your animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Benh Lieu Song via Flickr

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  1. Sorry, but I’m NOT thanking these two-faced losers for any such thing. Those elephants will EVENTUALLY only be heading to this Center, where there’s ALSO been abuse, and where bullhooks and other implements of torture, and an ATTITUDE that still sucks, are still used! So what relief or release is THAT for these poor animals?! Meanwhile, they’re still abusing OTHER animals used against their will in their damnable circus! This is nothing but a lousy CRUMB they’ve tossed out there, and if you’re stupid enough to eat it up, nothing is fundamentally going to change. Just STOP GOING TO ANY CIRCUSES WHERE ANIMALS ARE USED! THAT’S called “FORCE(D) CHANGE!

  2. James Smith says:

    Boycott all circuses.

  3. caryl sawyer says:

    Success? The money grubbing parasites have 3 years to continue this, in addition to all the other animals at their disposal.

    How about this? A Nazi guard at Auschwitz tells prisoners, “Only 3 more years.”

  4. D. C. HARRIS says:

    The very fact that the end to this barbaric ritual is not to occur for another three years is outrageous !! Where are the protestors now ?? And then to find out these abused animals are then to be sent to yet another place owned by this group, to continue to be abused, where’s the outrage ? Where’s the condemnation ? I, too, will not “thank” this group for continued abuse. This circus and ALL circuses should be put out of business at the very earliest possible date !! Period !!!!

  5. Jill Scott says:

    I’m not thanking these animal abusers. ALL animals should be banned from circuses and that should be NOW not in three more abused filled years.

  6. Yeh, and now they are going to use camels in their circuses, sigh! Wish these people would just go away!

  7. Elaine Barretet says:

    I don’t thank Ringling for ANYTHING! THREE YEARS!! what a fucking joke Ringling is just stalling and trying to appease the public so they don’t lose more business. More and more people are becoming knowledgeable about what goes on behind the scenes in this filthy business of the circus. Phase ALL animals out of entertainment and you might deserve some thanks. But not even then, because the elephants Ringling has used/exploited/tormented for years will have emotional scars and will have lost their families they were ripped away from. Now, Ringling is moving on to the next victim, the camel. They are no worse than a rapist or child molester they just move on the the next victim.

  8. Patricia Poole says:

    They will not release the elephants until 2018?? So they want to put them through hell for another 3 years. And what about all the other animals in their circus. They are very greedy people. Shut all circus down. They are not trustworthy people. Just greedy!!!!!

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