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The ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ Is Coming Back—Without Circus Animals | Smart News

Tiger tamer Alexander Lacey gets his tigers on their feet in one of the final performances of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey closed in 2017, it was supposed to be for good. After 146 years in operation, the self-dubbed “Greatest Show on Earth” just couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced evolution of modern times. Facing animal welfare concerns and grim economic realities, the cultural icon folded up its tents for what seemed to be the last time.

Now, after a five-year hiatus, the show will go on. As the New York Times’ Sarah Maslin Nir reports, the circus will reopen next fall—and will look different from the three-ring extravaganza of yore. It’ll be more…

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