In my opinion, the retirement of Ringling Bros. elephants two years earlier than the original plan is a wise choice. Though Ringling Bros. may be doing it because it is becoming increasingly harder to travel with the animals, I still commend them for doing it. These animals have given many years of service and brought the circus much financial gain. They deserve to live out two years additional of their lives comfortably work-free.
The poor elephants have been forced to work like slaves for way too long. They have been made to perform unnatural acts at many times are abused. Elephants are incredibly intelligent creatures so this has got to be hard on their psyche. I am glad they can now retire and be catered to for once.
It is good that Ringling Bros. is retiring circus elephants two years early, because the elephants should not be subjected to the work and hardship that they currently subjected to while performing in the circus. Two less years of struggle and abuse is good for the elephants and for the public image of the circus.
The Ringling Bros. parent company Feld Entertainment has been planning for some time to phase out their iconic elephant acts. As cultural attitudes toward animal treatment change for the better, local governments are beginning to pass legislation that make it costly or impossible for the elephants to be transported and made to perform.
Though Ringling Bros. originally announced their elephants would be retired to a Florida conservation by 2018, construction of the necessary facilities was finished ahead of schedule and the elephants will be retired this year. I think it is admirable for the circus not to use the final two years as an attempt to maximize profit from the animals. More importantly, the elephants in the conservation will be studied for cancer research, a far more noble aim than entertainment. All in all, this is good for the individual elephants and good for society as a whole.