UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has begun its final show after 146 years of wowing audiences with the "Greatest Show on Earth."
Sunday night's 7 p.m. performance was the last of three final shows in Uniondale, New York, outside of New York City.
Ringling's parent company, Feld Entertainment, announced in January that it would close the production, citing declining attendance and high operating costs.
Animal rights activists had targeted the circus, saying that forcing animals to perform and transporting them around the country amounted to abuse. And in May 2016, the company removed elephants from its shows, but ticket sales continued to decline.