The Ringling Bros. circus is closing down after more than 100 years in operation, according to a press release from Feld Entertainment, which has owned the circus for the last 50 years, CNN reports.
High operating costs and the decline of ticket sales “made the circus an unsustainable business for the company,” CEO Kenneth Feld said. And after “the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop” in ticket sales, Feld said.
Before taking the final bow, the Ringling Bros., will perform 30 shows across the United States between now and May. For years, the elephants have been in the spotlight and their dance routines featured prominently in the shows. But due to mounting criticism from animal rights groups, the Ringling Bros. phased out the elephant acts entirely.