BRIDEGPORT, Conn. -- Ringling Bros. and Branum & Bailey Circus' giant elephants took their final bow under the big top to crowds of circus fans on Sunday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Providence, R.I., according to USA Today.
P.T. Barnum, who was born in Bethel and lived in Bridgeport, founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Circus officials said they were removing the elephants due to restrictions put on their use by state and local officials against the bullhook -- a long stick with a metal hook -- trainers use to train and control the animals, said USA Today.
The move also followed decades of protests by animal rights activists who say the use of the hook was cruel. The 11 remaining elephants will retire to Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation, added USA Today.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.