90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Retiring Ringling Elephants Treated To Homecoming Brunch In Central Florida

Friday was a homecoming for the last 11 Ringling Brothers’ elephants retiring from the circus. The female pachyderms are now at their retirement home – Ringling’s Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City.

A line of massive elephants was treated to an equally massive brunch of loaves of bread, carrots, lettuce, apples and celery. Assistant Animal Superintendent Ryan Henning presented the elephants to the media in true circus form.

“This transition was indeed bittersweet. It was bitter in the sense that after 145 years of having elephants on our traveling circus units the era has come to an end. But it’s sweet in the sense that at the end of the day it’s about the captivation of our beautiful Asian elephants, it’s about the conservation of our beautiful Asian elephants and ensuring that these magnificent creatures will be around for many, many generations to come,” announced Henning.

Animal activists condemn Ringling for chaining the elephants overnight on concrete and would rather the creatures go to accredited sanctuaries where they could roam free. PETA says elephants in captivity are more prone to tuberculosis, arthritis and herpes.

A juvenile elephant named Mike died in January from a strain of herpes virus.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez