FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The general manager of the company that puts on Fort Wayne’s Shrine circus says they still plan to have elephant acts.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced on Thursday that elephants will be phased out of the their shows by 2018. The decision was made after public concern about how the animals are treated.
Larry Solheim, the General Manager of Tarzan Zerbini Productions, said they will not be following in Ringling’s footsteps.
Solheim said the small family-owned Tarzan Zerbini Circus is not a big company like the Ringling Brothers. He said the Zerbini handlers train the elephants and are with them throughout the animals’ entire career. The circus currently has seven elephants.
The company that owns Ringling Brother currently has 43 elephants. Twenty-nine of those elephants live at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida, according to the Associated Press.