Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced plans today to drop elephants from their traveling circus tours. The 145-year-old circus institution will relocate the 13 elephants currently on tour to the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida by 2018. There, they will join the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants.
The Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation is home to the largest herd of Asian elephants and the most successful breeding program for this endangered species in the Western Hemisphere, according to the company, with 26 births in its 20year history.
The Center has loaned or donated elephants to eight zoos, and will continue to support the Smithsonian Institution’s research lab working to find a cure for diseases that impact juvenile elephants.
Photo credit: (top) hbp_pix via CC license; (bottom) Nic. B.