Ringling Brothers made a historic announcement today that will end 100 years of circus tradition. There will be no more elephants under its big tops after 2018.
Three years ago, an investigative report in Mother Jones magazine documented the abuse of elephants by Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. It led to the largest civil penalty against an exhibitor in the history of the Animal Welfare Act. The circus promised to clean up its act but today it told the Associated Press there's been a "mood shift" among its customers. Elephants will be phased out. Deborah Nelson is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who spent a year on that story for Mother Jones.