The public’s concern about the treatment of elephants plays a major role in the decision to discontinue featuring elephants in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus performances. The pachyderms have been featured in the circus for over a century. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been complaining about the circus’ poor elephant treatment for over 35 years. The circus travels eleven months out of the year and 300,000 miles to perform in over 140 cities per year. This means there’s not enough food or adequate veterinary care. Once the elephants are phased out, they’ll be sent to retire at the conservation center in Florida. According to Ken Feld, there are already 29 elephants at the conservation center, which is located in central Florida. The youngest elephant is Mike who turns two in August. The oldest elephant is 69-year-old, Mysore.
According to PETA, the elephants aren’t meant to be performers to be stared at. These animals are kept in dirty cages, chained, and carted around the country away from their families and pals. Elephants are forced against their will to perform for audiences.