After more than a 100 years in business, Ringling Brothers Circus is closing down for good in May. Can it be long before the much smaller ones follow suit and circuses are a thing of the past?

You can thank PETA and animal rights group for the demise of the circus, something they are proud to have accomplished. The decline in ticket sales made the circus an unsustainable business, and those ticket sales experienced a huge decline after they stopped using elephants in dance routines. It was after continued animal rights groups complaints that Ringling Brothers completely dropped elephant acts. It wasn't only organizations like PETA that had a problem with the circus, but also The Humane Society. President and CEO Wayne Parcelle released a statement Sunday saying, "It's just not acceptable any longer to cart wild animals from city to city and have them perform silly yet coercive stunts. I know this is bittersweet for the Feld family, but I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts." Feld Entertainment owned the circus for 50 years, but the circus has been around for over a century.

Once a circus this large and certainly the most well known in the United States closes down I cannot envision any circuses being left 10 years from now. The era of the big top with clowns, trapeze artists and wild animal acts involving lion tamers, bears on unicycles and dancing elephants is over. I believe a baby born this year will only know of this stuff from a history book and won't ever experience it with their own eyes. The question is, is this a good or a bad thing? If you're an animal rights activist we already know what you think. If you're an average person I can imagine you might have mixed feelings. Let us know by answering our poll question and feel free to use the comment section below.

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