After over a century of entertaining families with “The Greatest Show on Earth,” Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will perform it’s final show in May, ending a 146-year run.

The news comes after the show suffered a huge decline in ticket sales after they discontinued the use of elephants in their show and found themselves in legal battles with animal rights organizations.

Via NBC News:

“Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop,” Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment which owns the circus, said in a statement issued Saturday night.

Animal rights groups welcomed the news of the circus’ imminent end.

“Ringling Bros. has changed a great deal over a century and a half, but not fast enough,” Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Wayne Pacelle said in a Facebook post.

He added: “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.”

In a statement, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it “heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times.”

Wow. Another piece of my childhood is going up in smoke.

Your thoughts?