(KTLA-TV)

LOS ANGELES -- The public memorial for Michael Jackson may have attracted a media circus of sorts, but this morning the real circus moved into town.

Hours before Jackson's tribute service at Staples Center, a herd of elephants and horses marched through downtown Los Angeles.

The animals are with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, which opens Wednesday at Staples Center.

The pre-dawn pachyderm march is a decades-old tradition for the circus.

The 11 Asian elephants and seven horses arrived at the arena about five hours before Jackson's public memorial.