Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will remove animals from future shows amid cruelty concerns from animal rights groups, the circus announced on Wednesday.
Future performances, part of a comeback tour next fall, will feature a live interaction show called The Greatest Show On Earth, which will offer "incredible feats that push the limits of human potential and create jaw-dropping moments," Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the circus, said in a statement.
"As passionate stewards of Ringling, we are committed to creating a lifestyle brand that connects with families and sparks real fun 365 days a year through live performances, digital content, consumer products, school curricula, youth circus arts programs, and more," said Kenneth Feld, the chairman and CEO of the company.
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"We are innovating all aspects of the live show and modernizing the franchise to create an engaging property that is built for today's families and will last another 150 years," Feld said in the statement.
The circus closed in January 2017 amid claims from animal rights activists that animals were mistreated, according to USA Today. Elephants were removed from the show in 2016, 18 months earlier than initially announced.
EXCLUSIVE: The @Ringling Bros Circus is being revived, but it’ll look very different than the shows you may remember. @KerryNBC breaks down what we can expect. pic.twitter.com/tMJhbCJ5hP— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 18, 2022
Prior to Ringling Bros.'s closure and the removal of elephants from shows, Feld Entertainment won a lawsuit brought forth by the Humane Society of the United States. Feld Entertainment received $15.75 million in a settlement from the case in 2014 after almost 14 years of allegations that its elephants were being mistreated.
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A "global" search for talent will be conducted with rehearsals for The Greatest Show On Earth in June 2023, according to the press release. The show is set to premiere in September 2023.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the Ringling Bros. for a request for comment.