Do you remember the first time you went to the circus and saw animals like elephants and tigers? It was awe-inspiring to see such large, majestic, dangerous animals.
For years, animal rights activists have been calling for the retirement of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for years, and it seems as if the elephants have performed their final act in New York City on Sunday at the Barclays Center.
However, did you know that elephants were the cause for the partnership of rival sideshow curators, Barnum and Bailey, in 1881?
Following the first birth of a baby elephant in captivity, Barnum offered $100,000 for the elephant, and the two agreed to combine their shows.
Though this baby elephant brought the two together, the elephant, Jumbo, was acquired a year later. He was lauded as the "world's biggest elephant."
In 1907, the Ringling Bros. combined with Barnum & Bailey, to create the tongue twister of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.
Until this past Sunday, elephants have always played a prominent part in the popularity and success of the circus, but these acts are now merely a part of history, as the elephants have been retired following yesterday's performance.
Check out some pictures from The New York Times, over the course of the circus' 200 year run.
[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy CNN]