Owners of the iconic American circus cited declining ticket sales and rising costs. The show was also seeing more empty seats recently after Ringling Bros. stopped using elephants.
Chris O’meara / AP
Ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop, the company said. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.
Bill Sikes / AP
The elephants were part of the traveling show for decades, dancing and performing feats at the command of its trainers. The circus, however, stopped using them in May 2016 amid unyielding criticism by animal rights groups and changing public sentiment.
According to the companys statement, the loss of the elephants dealt one last blow to a show already struggling with anemic ticket sales.
John Lent / AP
“The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years, the company said. We know Ringling Bros. isnt only our family business, but also your family tradition.