Curtains for Ringling! Animal Advocates Gather Outside Last-Ever Show

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The show - performed in Uniondale, New York - comes after months after the circus owners announced it would be bring the curtain down on its performers.

"This was a hard business decision to make, but by ending the circus tours, we will be able to concentrate on the other lines of business within the Feld Entertainment portfolio", said Juliette Feld, chief operating officer.

Circus fans will have their final chance to see the greatest show on earth for one final performance Sunday night at 7 p.m.

A representative of Ringling Bros could not be reached on Sunday for comment, but in the past it defended its treatment of animals as humane.

None of PETA's lifesaving work for animals would be possible without the generosity of our more than 6.5 million members and supporters.

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After more than 100 years in operation, CEO Kenneth Feld made a decision to close down the circus, citing a dramatic dip in ticket sales.

Aerialist Paulo dos Santos seems to fly in space in his act in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday.

"Every single circus in America used Ringling Brothers as their compass", he said.

A featured attraction for more than a century, the elephants had come to symbolise the Ringling Bros brand.

Ringling Bros was the last American circus that travelled by rail.

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The circus, which traces its lineage back to showman P.T. Barnum's traveling museum in the 1800s, performed its final show at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

The performing pachyderms, which typically paraded down the street to signal the arrival of the circus in a town, were staple of Ringling Brothers for years.

The move also came after animal rights activists took aim at the show, taking issue with the use of elephants and other animals by the performers. Ticket sales had already fallen, but they dropped more significantly than anticipated after the elephants were retired last May, according to the statement.

"I'm thankful we get to see it before it leaves", she said.

The PETA motto sums it up: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way".

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