Ringling Brothers to Phase Out Elephants

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus have announced they’re going to phase out elephants from their shows by 2018. Elephants have been an iconic part of the circus for more than 100 years, and it’s a little hard to imagine Ringling Brothers without them. It also seemed, only recently, that they weren’t going anywhere: just a year ago, Ringling won a $16 million settlement against animal rights groups who claimed they were mistreating the animals. So what happened since to prompt this change?