Circus Poster with clown and two hippopotamuses
Cincinnati Art Museum

Long before the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Central Ohio was home to a menagerie of exotic wildlife.

When Feld Entertainment, owners of Ringling Bros., announced it's canceling the circus after nearly 150 years, it was one of the biggest victories yet for animal welfare activists.

How the circus treats it animals — especially elephants and big cats — has long been a focus for groups like the Humane Society of the U.S and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They see it as part of a larger change going on in this country — about how Americans view animals and the way we treat them.

Circus Pages

No lions, tigers or bears? Oh my.

In the city of Delaware, council members are pushing to ban circuses that mistreat animals or use exotic animals like elephants and large cats in their acts after growing criticism for the practice.