Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to an end after 146 years. "The Greatest Show on Earth" will have its last performances in May 2017. The two touring circuses this season have 30 performances scheduled between now and then. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island on May 7, and in Uniondale, New York on May 21. The Circus will also be in Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Washington DC before it ends.

Reasons the circus is ending

The circus has seen a big drop in ticket sales, especially after the elephants were taken out of the acts.

Legal battles with animal rights groups had been going on for years in defense of the elephants that were eliminated in May 2016. Kenneth Feld, who owns the circus, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday night.

While circus lovers are saddened about the News, animal rights groups welcomed the announcement. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known as PETA, said in a statement that "The Greatest Show on Earth" was actually "the saddest show on earth" for wild animals. They consider Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to an end as a positive sign of changing times, and the group is recommending other animal circuses to end also.


With the circus coming to an end, about 500 employees will be out of a job.

Even though most of them will not be able to find similar employment, some of them will find positions with other shows, including Monster Jam, Disney on Ice, and Marvel Live. Kristen Wilson just became the first female ringmaster in the history of Ringling Bros. It had been on her bucket list for years, and it was a dream that had finally come true for her.

Hopefully, she will find another position to fulfill her passion.

What will happen to the animals?

When the elephants were phased out, they went to the Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. The lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas will go to suitable places. A lot of people on social media see the ending of the circus to be a positive step for animal welfare. Others, including former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee are not happy that the 146-year-old circus is coming to an end.