A CIRCUS has closed down after 146 years blaming animal rights activists.
Thousands flocked to Tampa’s Amalie Arena for Ringling’s last eight shows in Florida.
Many fans like Janet Adams bought a ticket after Feld Entertainment announced this would be the final tour.
When PETA succeeded in banning elephants from Ringling’s circus, it resulted in dramatic financial losses.
The circus later made a decision to lower its curtain.
Adams said: “Because I went to Madison Square Garden to see the Ringling Bros. when I was five years old, and I thought we have to bring closure to the circus and closure to ourselves by being here”
Virginia Beach resident Alicia Knight remembers that when she was young, Ringling Bros circus was one of her most favourite treats.
She said: “ When they used to tell us the circus was coming, we used to wait outside to see the elephants. So it’s real sad the elephants as well as the circus aren’t going to be here anymore.”
Another social media user, Robert Bakal, tweeted: ” We are going to miss you!
“The circus meant so much to me as a kid. It helped guide me into my career and fostered my love for animals. It brought me and my daughter tremendous joy! Thank you!”
Kenneth Feld, the owner of the historic circus, said that several factors contributed to closing the show after 146 years. Animal rights activists being one of them.
PETA has been fighting for 36 years to get circuses to stop using animals.
Daniel Carron, PETA senior outreach coordinator said:
“ We’re really excited to hear this, we’re applauding this decision and we’re really, really encouraging all circuses now that use animals or any type of facility that is using animals for entertainment to follow suit.”
About two dozen PETA protesters quietly stood outside before each performance in Tampa, holding signs saying things like, “Cruelty is Not Entertainment.”
More than 500 people performed and worked at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Now most of them will be out of a job.
Zsilak, a crewmember, followed in her parents footsteps. The juggler met her husband at Ringling, and raised her son to perform alongside her. For her family, losing Ringling is like losing a home.
“It’s a bittersweet time,” Zsilak said. “Of course we are not happy about it, but we are here for the crowds.”
Ms. Zsilak is not positive about the future.
She says: “For us, we need to look around for other circuses and other places you find entertainment and try to get a job there” .
The clown Ivan Skinfill, just got his dream job at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
He just wants to work anywhere where he can make somebody smile.
“Let me tell you something, when I started being a clown, I never work because I just enjoy, enjoy, enjoy,” Skinfill said. “It’s not a job, it’s my life!”
However, PETA protesters still fail to see the devastating result of their long-term battle.
PETA protester Suzanne House says it’s been tough to explain their message.
“There are a lot of people here who have been very angry at us for closing down the circus,” House said. “We never wanted to put anybody out of work or close the circus down, we think human acts are great.”