Curtain falls on the 'world's greatest show'

Curtain falls on the 'world's greatest show'

Curtain falls on the 'world's greatest show'

The last performance by Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus - dubbed "the greatest show on earth" - was streamed live last night.

"It's sad that people aren't going have that anymore, but people that have experienced the 'Greatest Show on Earth, ' I'm sure they have it some place deep in their heart", she said.

The circus has had several legal battles over the years with animal rights groups, and combined with declining sales, owners made the decision to close down the traveling circus for good.

Over the years, animal rights activists had targeted Ringling, saying that forcing animals to perform and transporting them around the country amounted to abuse.

After phasing out the elephants, the decline in attendance was "greater than could have been anticipated", the company said.

Capping a legacy that stretches back to 19th century showman PT Barnum, the circus bade adieu at a series of shows this weekend at the newly refurbished Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on New York's Long Island.

Owner Feld Entertainment announced earlier this year that the show would end its 146-year run in May.

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The Ringling Bros. Twitter account and some fans shared a few final moments from the show online as things progressed.

It's an arena show, with an extravaganza of big cats, motorcycle stunts, clowns performing death-defying tricks, ice skaters and Mongolian contortionists - and that's just the first half. The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967.

The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus says Sunday's final shows are "a celebration".

"There's a lot of mixed emotions, said Rev. George "Jerry" Hogan, Ringling's circus chaplain".

Feld Entertainment and the circus' workers have repeatedly denied any claims of animal mistreatment, and spokesman Payne said they had found homes for all of the approximately 50 animals with the show.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a major critic of the circus for its treatment of animals, celebrated the announcement.

The 13 Asian elephants used in Ringling's two touring companies were retired to the company's 200-acre (80-hectare) Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City, Florida.

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