The Patriot

Francis Marion University's award-winning student newspaper

The Patriot

The Patriot

Ringling Bros. Circus responds to recent protest coverage

For over 142 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been showcasing the most amazing talent from around the world. Animals have been an integral part of Ringling Bros. throughout the years and they are consistently one of the main reasons families keep coming back, year after year.

In response to “FMU Animal Rights Advocates meet Ringling Bros. Circus with protests,” The Patriot did not do due diligence and reach out to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for comment on the activists’ claims about the alleged mistreatment of animals. Had we spoken with The Patriot, we would have gladly shared that excellent animal care is our number one priority at Ringling Bros. and could have put your publication in touch with elephant experts who have dedicated their lives to the study and care of these magnificent animals, instead of relying on the “expertise” of activists.

Anyone who comes to Ringling Bros. can see that the animals are healthy and well-adjusted. The animals are accustomed to the training methods and animal husbandry tools used at Ringling Bros. More importantly, many of the trained behaviors are critical to providing optimal husbandry and veterinary care. Our animal care programs rival the best in the world, and we have the largest sustainable herd of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere.

A portion of every ticket sale goes to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation, a facility dedicated to the conservation and understanding of the Asian elephant, and where we have one of the Western Hemisphere’s most successful breeding programs. The Center for Elephant Conservation is also home to members of our herd who show no inclination towards performing, most of our male elephants, and retired elephants.

Activist groups who distribute false and inaccurate information about the animal care at Ringling Bros. will never be satisfied with animals being presented to the public no matter how humane the care and the appropriate management provided by Ringling Bros. As the leader in presenting live family entertainment productions along with the dedicated resources to ensure appropriate animal husbandry and conservation programs, to treat the animals in any other manner, as alleged by critics, would be foolhardy and disingenuous to our customers and to our partners.

As reporters still learning your craft, we hope that The Patriot will reach out to all sides of a discussion before presenting “news” that leaves out necessary, accurate, and balanced facts.




Ashley Smith

Director of Corporate Communications