One of America's largest circus companies will soon end performing elephants in its shows. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus said it would stop by 2018. All the 43 animals it uses will be moved to an animal conservation centre. The giant creatures will retire there. The decision came after protests from the public. One hundred years ago, people thought it was OK for animals to perform for humans. However, things are different today. People are more worried about the animals. The circus will continue to use other animals, such as camels, dogs, horses, lions and tigers.
Animal rights activists have criticised circuses for many years. A spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals explained that elephants have a bad life in circuses. She said: "Many of the elephants are painfully arthritic, and many have tuberculosis." She said they should retire now. Many places in the USA have banned the use of elephants. This makes it hard for circuses to go around the country. Owners of the Ringling Brothers circus said it was not easy to stop using their elephants. They understood that there has been a "mood shift" among the public.