Elephants give final Ringling Bros. performance

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Elephants have delivered their final performance for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson closed Sunday’s performance in Providence, Rhode Island, by calling the animals beloved members of the circus family and thanking them for more than 100 years of service.

He called them American icons and thanked them for so many years of joy

Animal-rights activists have been calling for an end to elephant performances for years. The Humane Society says more than a dozen other circuses continue with elephant acts, but none tour as widely or are as well-known as Ringling Bros.

An elephant carrying a performer holding an American flag kicked off the final elephant performance.

Sunday’s show featured six Asian elephants parading around the ring, each holding the tail of the one in front of her.