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Ringling Elephants to Have a New Home

Though we were first tipped off to this more than three years ago, White Oak Conservation Center has confirmed that the elephants owned by Feld Entertainment, many of who were used in Ringling Bros Circus, will be transferred to their conservation center in northern Florida. White Oak has been working at the Ringling Bros elephant holding site for many months and have already made significant improvements for the elephants there. Meanwhile, back at White Oak, 2,500 acres are being prepared for the herd of 30 elephants along with deep wading pools and heated barns. Never again will the elephants that traveled with Ringling have to endure chains, travel, or bullhooks. This is wonderful news!

Since the announcement, CWI has received many questions for which we do not have solid answers. We do not know why it has taken so long to finalize the arrangement, nor do we know why the animals are not placed in an existing sanctuary. We are also disheartened to learn that White Oak may continue elephant breeding, as they have refused to commit otherwise. Despite the less than ideal circumstances, it is important to remember the horrors that the Ringling elephants have endured: from vicious training sessions for baby elephants, to suffering lacerations from the repeated use of bullhooks, to traveling in weather extremes, to performing stupid tricks, Ringling elephants have suffered a lifetime of abuse. CWI will monitor the situation at White Oak and take action for the elephants as needed.

For nearly a decade, CWI (even before we were CWI!) has been battling Ringling and circus cruelty. We have organized hundreds of anti-circus demonstrations and worked with thousands of individuals to speak out against circus cruelty. The education that generated has led to the downfall of circuses including Ringling, Kelly Miller, Cole Bros and Circus Pages. However, as long as circuses tour with animals, our work is not finished! Presently we are dealing with a small tour of Loomis Bros Circus and await the return of Carden International, Shrine Circuses, Jordan World Circus, and others in 2021. Please support our continued work by making a tax-deductible donation and by getting involved in the fight!


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