Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®

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Media Contact: Stephen Payne

(703)749-5505, [email protected]

 

Feld Entertainment Announces Final Performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in May 2017

January 14, 2017 -- Ellenton, Fla. -- Feld Entertainment Inc., parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® and the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment, announced today that the iconic 146-year-old circus would hold its final performances later this year. Ringling Bros.®’ two circus units will conclude their tours with their final shows at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on May 7, and at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on May 21, 2017.

The decision to end the circus tours was made as a result of high costs coupled with a decline in ticket sales, making the circus an unsustainable business for the company. Following the transition of the elephants off the circus, the company saw a decline in ticket sales greater than could have been anticipated.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey was the original property on which we built Feld Entertainment into a global producer of live entertainment over the past 50 years,” said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “We are grateful to the hundreds of millions of fans who have experienced Ringling Bros. over the years. Between now and May, we will give them one last chance to experience the joy and wonder of Ringling Bros.

“This was a difficult 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, Feld Entertainment’s Chief Operating Officer. “Now that we have made this decision, as a company, and as a family, we will strive to support our circus performers and crew in making the transition to new opportunities,” she added.

Feld Entertainment’s portfolio includes Marvel Universe LIVE!, Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross and Disney On Ice, among others. The company recently announced a new partnership to produce live tours of Sesame Street and expanded television coverage for the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross races.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Responds to Rep. Moran's Misguided Anti-Circus Bill

April 30, 2014 - - Once again Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) has discriminatorily targeted traveling circuses, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus, the largest traveling circus in the United States.  The bill he introduced today is completely unnecessary and unjustified by facts or science. Furthermore, it would remove the American public's right to choose for itself whether Ringling Bros. Circus, a 144-year old American tradition, can continue to operate.  In addition, Congressman Moran's bill threatens the jobs of more than 750 full-time employees working for the circus, including many union members he so often claims to support.  The real truth is that animals can and do travel and perform safely and humanely.   

Today's legislation has already failed previously and is based upon false information and the rhetoric of animal rights activists, who oppose all animals in captivity and entertainment.  Sound science or any familiarity with proper animal husbandry or handling is utterly foreign to these activists.  This is the second time Rep. Moran has introduced this legislation and yet again he has never asked for, and does not want to know, any information on our animal care practices, our conservation programs, or about the dedicated men and women who spend their lives caring for the animals with The Greatest Show On Earth®. 

The bill's underlying false premise on the transport and care of circus animals is directly contradicted by sound science and animal husbandry best practices.  Moreover, the public safety and animal care record of Ringling Bros. is exemplary.  Despite misleading references to our mutually agreed upon settlement of regulatory disputes with the US Department of Agriculture, Ringling Bros. has never been found in violation of the Federal Animal Welfare Act. That settlement agreement is clear proof that Ringling Bros. and other traveling exhibitors operate in a highly regulated environment with multiple layers of federal, state and local laws and regulations already in place that govern the welfare of animals.

As always we stand behind the skill, compassion and quality of care provided by our animal care and veterinary staff and we believe that the vast majority of Americans agree with us and reject the extreme animal rights agenda embodied in this bill.

Media Contact:
Sabrina Cullen
National Public Relations Manager for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
[email protected]
941-721-1353 
 

CEC

 

Ringling Bros.® Celebrates Elephant Appreciation Day by sharing elephant

fun facts, photos, videos and #elphies (elephant selfies) to elephant lovers everywhere

from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Center for Elephant Conservation

ELLENTON, FL -September 8, 2014 - In honor of Elephant Appreciation Day on September 22, Ringling Bros. is celebrating with elephant lovers everywhere by sharing the best elephant content from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation®  (CEC), a 200-acre, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the conservation, breeding and understanding of these amazing animals. Elephant Appreciation Day is a very important holiday founded by pachyderm lover Wayne Hepburn in 1996, and Ringling Bros. is proud to join the festivities!

Media, bloggers and fans can download and share special Elephant Appreciation Day content on http://www.elephantcenter.com/about-us/elephant-appreciation-day/ .

With 26th births, and counting, of the Asian elephant at Ringling Bros. CEC, Mike the newest calf born June 27, 2013 will steal the show this Elephant Appreciation Day with cute-post-worthy videos of the young elephant having fun with mud, sand piles, balls, logs and of course playtime with his mom. 

And because you can't have a buzz-worthy holiday without a great 'selfie' or the right photo to share with your friends and followers. The Ringling Bros. staff caring for these animals around-the-clock are lucky to see epic elephant moments daily, and are excited to share their Top Elephant Photos, including the very first #Elphie (elephant selfie) taken at Ringling Bros. CEC.   

The Asian elephant is an endangered species, with fewer than 35,000 alive in the world today, so it is important elephant lovers learn all they can about these special animals. As part of the Elephant Appreciation Day festivities, we have provided an EleFun-Facts infographic to easily share special information about the endangered species.

It's important that people continue to talk about these magnificent animals and bring awareness, they are endangered and we are the only ones that can make a difference," says Janice Aria, director of animal stewardship for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation. "Our staff and trainers get to appreciate these animals daily, but I'm glad they have a special day where people all over the world can appreciate them."

Ringling Bros. cares for the largest herd of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere with 44 elephants, and has more than 144 years of experience and expertise working with elephants. Ringling Bros. CEC is home to most of these elephants: retirees, calves and their mothers, male elephants and elephants that might not prefer the circus life.

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.

About Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

Ringling Bros. is a world leader in the care and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant. In 1995, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation®, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the reproduction, research and retirement of Asian elephants, was created on a 200-acre site in Florida. Information on the Center is available online at www.elephantcenter.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Stephen Payne
[email protected]
703-749-5505

HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CO-DEFENDANTS PAY
$15.75 MILLION SETTLEMENT TO FELD ENTERTAINMENT ENDING
14 YEARS OF LITIGATION

Unprecedented Settlement Brings Total Paid to Parent Company of
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus to More Than $25 Million

Groups Settle with Circus After Federal Court Determined Case
Was "Groundless and Unreasonable"

VIENNA, Va. - May 15, 2014 - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), along with their co-defendants, have paid Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus, $15.75 million to settle cases stemming from a lawsuit they brought against Ringling Bros.® over the care of its Asian elephants. This historic settlement payment to Feld Entertainment ends nearly 14 years of litigation between the parties.

"We hope this settlement payment, and the various court decisions that found against these animal rights activists and their attorneys, will deter individuals and organizations from bringing frivolous litigation like this in the future," said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Feld Entertainment. "This settlement is a significant milestone for our family-owned business and all the dedicated men and women who care for the Ringling Bros. herd of 42 Asian elephants. We look forward to continuing to set the standard for providing world-class care for all our animals and producing high quality, family entertainment."

HSUS and animal rights groups the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Born Free USA (formerly the Animal Protection Institute), the Wildlife Advocacy Project, the law firm of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, and several current and former attorneys of that firm, paid the settlement for their involvement in the case brought under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that the U.S. District Court ruled was "frivolous," "vexatious," and "groundless and unreasonable from its inception." Today's settlement also covers the related Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case that Feld Entertainment filed against the groups after discovering they had paid a plaintiff for his participation in the original lawsuit and then attempted to conceal those payments.

In December 2012, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a former co-defendant in the case, settled its share of the lawsuits by paying Feld Entertainment $9.3 million. Today's settlement brings the total recovered by Feld Entertainment to more than $25 million in legal fees and expenses, which the company actually spent in defending the ESA case.

"After winning 14 years of litigation, Feld Entertainment has been vindicated.  This case was a colossal abuse of the justice system in which the animal rights groups and their lawyers apparently believed the ends justified the means. It also marks the first time in U.S. history where a defendant in an Endangered Species Act case was found entitled to recover attorneys' fees against  the plaintiffs due to the Court's finding of frivolous, vexatious and unreasonable litigation," said Feld Entertainment's legal counsel in this matter, John Simpson, a partner with Norton Rose Fulbright's Washington, D.C., office. "The total settlement amounts represent recovery of 100 percent of the legal fees Feld Entertainment incurred in defending against the ESA lawsuit." 

In the original ESA lawsuit, Feld Entertainment discovered the animal rights groups and their lawyers had paid over $190,000 to a former circus employee, Tom Rider, to be a "paid plaintiff." The Court also found that the animal rights groups and their attorneys "sought to conceal the nature, extent and purpose of the payments" during the litigation. Their abuse of the judicial system included the issuance of a false statement under oath by Rider, assisted by his counsel, who the Court found was "the same attorney who was paying him" to participate in the litigation. The Court found in addition to Rider being a "paid plaintiff," that the lawsuit was "frivolous and vexatious."

Additional information on this settlement and the underlying litigation can be found at www.ringlingbrostrialinfo.com.

About Feld Entertainment

Feld Entertainment, Inc. is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live family entertainment that lifts the human spirit and creates indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey,   Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe Live! and Feld Motor Sports.  More information can be found at www.feldentertainment.com.

Ringling Bros. is a world leader in the care and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant. In 1995, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation®, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the reproduction, research and retirement of Asian elephants, was created on a 200 acre site in Florida. Information on the Center is available online at www.elephantcenter.com.

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RINGLING BROS. ANNOUNCES BIRTH OF 26th ASIAN ELEPHANT CALF

IT’S A BOY!

(July 29, 2013 – Vienna, VA) – The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation® proudly announces the birth of a healthy male Asian elephant. Our twenty-sixth calf, Mike, is named in honor of Feld Entertainment President and COO, Mike Shannon.

Mike was born at 9:32 p.m. on June 27, 2013, weighing 214 pounds at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida

Mike is the calf of Angelica and Romeo, both of whom were also born through the most successful Asian elephant breeding program in the Western Hemisphere. He is Angelica’s first calf. Mike will grow up with his half-sister, Piper, and half-brother, Nate, both from his dad’s side.

“It’s always a thrill when an elephant is born,” said Director of Animal Stewardship, Janice Aria. “And when we see a new mom take to her calf the way Angelica is taking to Mike – always sticking close by and always touching him with her trunk – it just makes you so thankful that you can be part of such a successful program and experience.”

The team of veterinarians and elephant husbandry specialists who oversaw Mike’s birth will also watch over and care for Mike as he grows and develops. Since the program’s inception, it has seen unparalleled breeding success and remains one of the key components in Ringling Bros. international conservation efforts.

About the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation was established to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience the endangered Asian elephant species. Built in 1995, this 200-acre, state-of-the-art facility was designed for the reproduction, research and retirement of the Asian elephant, enabling Ringling Bros. to share its elephant husbandry knowledge with the veterinary and conservation communities worldwide.

For more information about the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation visit www.elephantcenter.com