Oakland’s role in the decision to stop using elephants in circus performances is being celebrated.READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Crashes Onshore; Driving Rains, Gusty Winds, Flash Flood Fears
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.READ MORE: Stockton Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Shooting of Drug Dealer
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.MORE NEWS: Atmospheric River: Defiant Santa Cruz Mountain Residents Say They Will Ride Out The Storm
“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.