FILE PHOTO: Elephants perform during Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus' "Circus Extreme" show at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File photo
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced Saturday it will host its final show in May, ending "The Greatest Show on Earth" after 146 years.Animal rights groups cheered the move as a success story following decades of activism against the use of animals in the circus.Although Barnum's first show took place decades before, it was not until 1919 that a group started by five Wisconsin brothers, Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows, merged with Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth.Barnum launched his traveling circus after fires destroyed his Barnum's American Museum.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals cheered Ringling's latest decision as the end of an era, and called for other circuses to follow their lead.Ringling Brothers was also embroiled in a 14-year lawsuit in which animal rights groups alleged the circus was mistreating its herd.
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