The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is in Hartford this week and it’s the first visit without elephants, a controversial part of the show that has entertained audiences since circuses began in America.
In January, Feld Entertainment, the parent company of the circus, announced that they would take elephants out of their shows by spring.
Some animal rights activists said it was cruel for the elephants to be kept outside of their natural habitat and forced to perform.
Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, said last year that so many cities and counties have passed "anti-circus" and "anti-elephant" ordinances that it became difficult to organize tours of three traveling circuses to 115 cities each year.
Now that they are no longer performing, the elephants will permanently retire to the 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida.
Officials from Feld Entertainment said the retired elephants are also going to be part of cancer research.
The circus is at the XL Center from today through Sunday and doors will open 90 minutes before each show so people can see how the circus animals are housed and kept.