Elephants retire from a circus – level 3
It's described as “the Greatest Show on Earth". But now, after 145 years as the centrepiece of the Ringling Brothers' Circus travelling across the United States, the show's last remaining 11 elephants have arrived at a conservation centre in Florida to officially retire.
Meet Asia, the 48-year-old veteran entertainer who spent decades delighting crowds. She, and the other remaining 10, will spend their days outside from now on.
"It's been in the sense that after 145 years our elephants will no longer be a part of our travelling circus shows. It's the end of an era, its sweet in a sense and at the end of the day, it's about these magnificent creatures and conservation, and ensuring that these guys will be around for many generations to come."
Fewer than 40,000 elephants remain in the wild. Two hundred and fifty are in captivity in the United States, 39 of which are now at this 200-acre centre. The endangered Asian elephants have spent most of their lives in front of crowds of people, but while many may see this as an end of an era, others would argue it's time for a well-earned rest.
Difficult words: delight (to make somebody happy), magnificent (impressive, awesome).
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