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Circus Coming To Oakland Won't Have Elephants

KCBS_740 OAKLAND (KCBS) -- The Ringling Brothers Circus comes to Oakland this weekend, and for the first time in the Bay Area, the show will not bring elephants.

Oakland's role in the decision to stop using elephants in circus performances is being celebrated.

Two years ago, Oakland became just the second city in the U.S. to ban the use of bull hooks – tools resembling fireplace pokers that Ringling Brothers used on its elephants.

Councilmember Dan Kalb helped lead the fight against bull hooks.

"We decided, listen – that's not what Oakland's about, that's not what our country should be about, that's not what the planet should be about," Kalb told KCBS.

After threatening to pull its shows from Oakland, three months later Ringling Brothers decided to stop using elephants in its shows.

Pat Cuviello with Humanity Through Education organized protests against the circus for the past three decades.

"This is the first time in 145 years that Ringling is not forcing elephants to perform in its circus. This is an historic event, and it's a testament to the power of grassroots activism," Cuviello said.

"They're all in a central location in Florida, and enjoying their retirement," A spokesperson for the circus said. Their last show featuring elephants was in May.

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