Executives from Feld Entertainment, which is the parent company of both Barnum and Bailey Circus and Ringling Bros., announced on Monday that their decision to remove elephants from their shows immediately affected their ticket sales for the negative. The company, which survived for 146 years, has now decided to close itself down.
"Since last May, when the elephants were taken off the show,the downward trend was much more severe than had been anticipated," Kenneth Feld, chairman and chief executive of Feld Entertainment, said at a news conference at the company's headquarters. "Over the past eight or nine years there's been a decline, but when the elephants left the show we did not anticipate the impact that would have."
The decision to remove elephants from the shows was due to pressure from animal rights groups as the treatment of animals becomes more of a hot button topic. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement in response to the announcement from Feld Entertainment.
"All other animal circuses, roadside zoos, and wild animals exhibitors, including marine amusement parks like SeaWorld and the Miami Seaquarium, must take note: Society has changed, eyes have been opened, people know now who these animals are, and we know it is wrong to capture and exploit them," read the statement from PETA.
Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Chief Executive of Feld Entertainment, said that the closure of the circuses was not a victory for anyone involved.