Seventeen elephants will be walking through the streets of Anaheim this afternoon with the scheduled arrival of the 52-car Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train.
The elephants, along with other assorted circus animals including camels, llamas and miniature horses, will make a two-mile trip to The Pond of Anaheim where the “Greatest Show on Earth” runs Aug. 3 through Aug. 13.
“The tigers, we don’t walk,” Ringling Bros. spokeswoman Maggie Prado said.
The circus, celebrating its 125th year, comes to Orange County from a seven-day run at the L.A. Sports Arena. The animals were walked through the streets of South-Central Los Angeles on their way to the Sports Arena.
“All these families were lined up on their front porches to watch,” Prado said. “It was a great experience.”
The circus train is scheduled to unload the animals between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Sunkist Street and Cerritos Avenue. Walking the animals through town is not only a cherished circus tradition, it’s also the easiest way to get the largest animals to performance arenas, which often do not have direct access to rail lines, according to circus officials.
The arrival times are approximate because Amtrak has priority on the rail lines.
“Our trains can get bumped at any time,” Prado said.
Recent high temperatures have not been a problem for the approximately 75 animals in the circus, according to Prado. “When you think about it, elephants are from Africa,” she said. “It gets pretty hot out there.”
The first show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday followed by matinee and evening shows on most days through Aug. 13. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and are priced from $10.50 to $15.50, with discounts offered for some shows. Ticketmaster: (714) 740-2000.