Getty Images / Scott Wintrow

Ringling Bros. Elephants Quit Showbiz, Join The Fight Against Cancer

The Ringling Bros. circus elephants will retire Sunday. The company faced animal cruelty accusations for years.

By Ben Lawson | April 30, 2016

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants are making their final appearance Sunday.

Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the Ringling Bros., decided to phase the elephants out after accusations the methods used to train the elephants were cruel. Some places have also enacted laws banning the bullhook, the controversial device used to train the elephants.

The company originally announced they would retire elephants by 2018, but it moved up that timetable earlier this year.

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The 11 elephants still in the circus will join 29 others at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. They are joining the largest herd of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere.

The 200-acre plot of land is more than just an elephant retirement center. Elephants rarely develop cancer, so researchers are studying them in hopes of finding a cure or treatment for pediatric cancer in humans.

The Ringling Bros. will live stream the elephants' last show on Sunday evening on its website and Facebook page.

This video includes clips from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Getty Images.

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