Elephant lovers around the nation are dancing at the news that, as of 2018, elephants who belong in the wild will no longer have to dance for the Ringling Bros. circus.
On March 5 the Associated Press reported that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, owned by parent company Feld Entertainment, Inc., will phase out its captive elephant acts by 2018.
This is huge news coming from a powerful organization that, up until now, has adamantly denied that any of its captive elephants were mistreated.
But as our friends at Elephant Voices point out, "the essential physical and psychological needs of elephants cannot be met in captivity."
"Elephants in captivity are just shells of themselves. One can not comprehend the psychological, emotional and physical suffering elephants and all animals endure while in a circus. It's a life of misery, heartache and suffering," adds Ann Lewis, Vice President of Elephants DC, a nonprofit advocating for elephant welfare. "I applaud Ringling Bros.' decision. It's long overdue and I hope this is a change all circuses will embrace not only for elephants but for all animals."