The Asian elephant has been living and working with humans for thousands of years. More than one-third of the remaining Asian elephants in the world interact closely with humans in different places and ways, such as circuses, zoos, agricultural and logging industries, religious ceremonies, and eco-tourism.
To learn how elephants and people work together at The Greatest Show On Earth®, check out our facts on performing elephants below.
- Only those elephants with a suitable temperament and a natural predisposition toward training are selected for Ringling Bros. performances. For example, most circuses employ female Asian elephants for performances, since their social structure better lends itself to training and performing. Bull elephants are more solitary by nature.
- A positive, healthy environment is the foundation of training elephants. Therefore, the cornerstone of all circus elephant training at Ringling Bros. is reinforcement through praise, repetition and reward.
- Elephants that perform with Ringling Bros. are provided with around-the-clock veterinary attention, nutritious meals, and a clean, safe home.
- Elephants at Ringling Bros. are stimulated by all the exciting activity around them, have time for play and social interaction with other animals, and have a chance to use their physical and mental skills every day.
- Trained elephants are more predictable in their behavior, and that is a key reason why it’s safe to be around them. There is no evidence that captive elephants are any more prone to aggressive or erratic behavior than those in the wild.