Ringling elephants to retire after weekend RI performance

PROVIDENCE, RI (WFLA) – After nearly 150 years of performing, the largest stars of the ‘greatest shows on Earth’ will give their last show this weekend in Rhode Island. The elephants at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey will perform for the last time on Sunday.

After their last show in Providence, the creatures will be taken to a 200-acre conservation center in Florida.

The circus officials announced in January that the elephant act will permanently retire.

RELATED: Read more about the announcement here

According to NBC, activists have long alleged mistreatment and abuse of the animals, but the circus always denied it. Its parent company paid a fine in 2011 after a settlement with the government over an alleged violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

In retirement, the elephants’ blood will be studied for potential cancer treatment.

The circus will feature other wild animals, like tigers and lions.

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