Ringling Brothers Elephants Score a New Retirement Home
On Monday, January 11, 2016, the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus announced they would retire all 11 of their circus elephants after their last two performances on May 1, 2016, in Wilkes Barre, PA and Providence, RI.
After the Providence show, the circus elephants hopped a flight to Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida for a week of massages and all the margaritas they could drink.
The circus elephants got the boot because the animal rights activists accused the circus of abusing their elephants. So on May 21, 2017, one year after the elephants left the circus, the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down after being 'The Greatest Show on Earth for 146 years.
The last Connecticut performance of the Circus took place at the XL Center in Hartford on May 16, 2016. After spending five years at the Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, WFSB-TV has reported that 12 female elephants, all from the Ringling Brothers Circus and ranging from 8 to 38 years old have been sent to White Oak Conversation outside Jacksonville, Florida.
Ask any elephant and they will tell you White Oak is the ultimate retirement destination for pachyderms. Much like The Villages in Florida is for the humans. The elephants can wander over 17,000 acres inside this wildlife refuge and hang out with rhinos, okapi, condors, gazelles and cheetahs.
The chief of conservation at White Oak, Michelle Gadd, told WFSB-TV that before these elephants joined the circus, they had never been allowed to live in the wild. She was surprised how easily they adapted to their new surroundings.