On the afternoon of Ringling’s final two shows in New York City, dozens of activists blanketed the entrances to the Barclay’s Center to educate customers about animal cruelty in the circus. During the protest, several patrons changed their mind about going inside.
John DiLeonardo, the president of Long Island Organizing for Nature (LION) and an organizer of the protest, showed hundreds of people entering the circus a bull hook, the weapon used by Ringling “trainers” to beat elephants into submission.
Roberto Bonelli, a grassroots organizer with Animals Battalion, said that activists staged protests every day that Ringling performed from February 25th to March 6th.
In 2016, Ringling announced that the company will terminate the use of elephants in its circus by May and relocate all of the touring elephants to its “Conservation Center” in Florida. Despite pleas from advocacy groups worldwide, the company refuses to send its 42 elephants to a sanctuary. Instead, Ringling intends to continue breeding the elephants and using them for cancer research.
To find out how to help captive circus animals, please visit Ringling Beats Animals.