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University of Texas at Austin

Ringling Bros. packing its elephants' trunks, conceiving circus without pachyderms

Ringling Bros. packing its elephants' trunks, conceiving circus without pachyderms

Six-year-old Cristin Sitoski is crazy about the circus. And the best thing about it?

"I love when the elephant comes out and the lady rides on them," she says with barely a moment's hesitation. "I really like them."

For well over a century, elephants have been a major attraction of the big top — lumbering beasts whose good nature and surprising nimbleness, not to mention those way-cool trunks, thrill young and old alike. But that tradition's about to end.

Bowing to increasingly widespread and unfriendly legislation in other jurisdictions, as well as opposition from animal-rights groups, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the much-ballyhooed...

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