BALTIMORE (WJZ)– For nearly 150 years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus has been entertaining families, but after growing criticism, the struggling show will not go on.
Tickets are going fast. For one last time, the greatest show on earth takes the stage in Baltimore.
“No more. Ever again. It’s sad,” Tammy Sutton said.
Even with it’s hair-raising stunts and animal tricks, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus could not survive declining ticket sales.
The circus’ parent company says, last year’s decision to let go of some of their biggest stars, was the beginning of the end.
“Removing the elephants from the touring units, we saw a very sharp drop in attendance much greater than we anticipated,” said Juliette Feld of Feld Entertainment.
The decision to drop the elephant act, came after years of protests from animal rights groups, who say undercover videos, prove the circus abused the majestic animals. The outcry propelled the end for the iconic show.
Ringling Brothers is currently touring the country with their final shows planned for May. 146 years after the show began.
On the Ringling Brothers website, the owner explains:
“The decision was even more difficult because of the amazing fans that have become part of our extended circus family over the years.”
“I’m sad about the circus because it’s fun watching the animal do tricks,” Sarah Brown said.
“I bring my grand children every year and this is the last one. They’re really upset about it,” Starr Brigerman said.
The circus will be in Baltimore through April. The final show is in Long Island, New York.
After being phased out, the elephants were sent to a sanctuary in Florida.