Ringling circus folding up the Big Top after 146 years

- The “Greatest Show on Earth” is folding up the Big Top after almost 150 years.

This weekend is the final chance for fans to see the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus in New York.

Ringling said it is ending the circus due to the combination of declining attendance and high operating costs.

The circus has had some bad publicity during its time as well, concerning animal cruelty. In March 2015, the circus announced it would retire all 13 of their working elephants to the Center for Elephant Conservation.

The circus does continue to use other animals in their shows, most notably their big cats.

Currently there is a bill in the works that could potentially ban the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and other entertainment acts. This Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act will force the 19 remaining traveling circuses in the United States that use animal acts to change their acts, or shut down.

The final circus on Sunday night will also be streamed on Facebook Live and on Ringling’s website.

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