Bailey Circus Phasing Out Elephant Acts

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Phasing Out Elephant Acts

Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the circus, said Thursday that it will phase out the 13 elephants from its traveling circus performances. By 2018, the popular pachyderms will be relocated to a conservation center in central Florida, where they will join the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants. It will take "months" to renovate the facility and make more room for the animals, a spokesman told NBC News.

The end of the circus century-old tradition also comes after years of animal rights groups putting pressure on the show.

Bailey Circus Phasing Out Elephant Acts

"This is the most significant change we have made since we founded the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in 1995," Feld Entertainment CEO Kenneth Feld said in a statement, adding that its focus will be saving the Asian elephant, which is listed as endangered by wildlife conservation groups.

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