By April 21, 2016 Read More →

Ringling elephants make last visit to Charleston

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant handlers guide the foot of 48-year-old Asia into cement to get a footprint following the “Dining with the Divas” elephant event Wednesday while handlers hold onto 6-year-old April (right). Footprints taken of the elephants will be put in the sidewalk in front of Charleston Town Center mall and the Charleston Civic Center.

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant handlers guide the foot of 48-year-old Asia into cement to get a footprint following the “Dining with the Divas” elephant event Wednesday while handlers hold onto 6-year-old April (right). Footprints taken of the elephants will be put in the sidewalk in front of Charleston Town Center mall and the Charleston Civic Center.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Like just about every other kind of business, show business is always changing, sometimes even in surprising ways.

After 145 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” will retire its elephants from the road in May.

So, when the show comes to the Charleston Civic Center this week, it could be the last time some area residents ever see a live elephant. (On our app? See video of the elephants here and photo gallery here.)

The decision to retire the elephants has been a long time coming.

The circus has long been under pressure from animal-rights groups over its treatment of the animals but, up until now, Ringling has refused to entertain taking one of the biggest circus symbols off the road.

However, Ringling acknowledged a “mood shift” as a contributing factor…

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