The Cruelest Show on Earth in Mother Jones documents decades of deaths, illness and injury in the famed herd of performing elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The USDA announced the settlement Nov. 28. Feld released a statement, noting it was not admitting anything but would “enhance” its animal care.
The historic penalty ended decades of USDA inaction on abuse allegations against Ringling in inspections, investigations and through long-standing efforts by animal welfare groups — such as PETA, ASPCA and the Animal Protection Institute.
Image by David Cook Wildlife Photography