Final days of Ringling Bros. Circus
(AP) - "The Greatest Show on Earth": the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is hanging its hat for the last time this weekend.
While the show goes on in other circuses around the world, Ringling is special. The size, the spectacle and the history -- stretching back to P.T. Barnum and his traveling museum in the 1800s -- set it apart.
One of Ringling's two traveling circuses is scheduled to perform its final show Sunday at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.
Ringling is the last circus anywhere to travel by train, and while living on a train can be tough, the accommodations are considered a benefit that other circuses don't offer.
Perks include the "Pie Car," the mile-long train's dining operation, as well as a circus nursery and school for the many children whose parents make the circus what it is.
Quarters on the circus train can be tight. Some cabins are so small, you can touch opposite walls with outstretched arms. Many travelers are stuck in their rooms while the train is moving because the only exit is to the outside.
The train moves much slower than an Amtrak, or even a Honda. Its final run traveled a circuitous route from Hartford, Connecticut, through Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island.
The animals are owned by Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling.
They will be sent to a center that specializes in tigers, according to a Feld spokesman.
Years of protests by animal rights groups are among the things that took their toll on the circus in recent years, along with declining attendance and changing public tastes.