Year of the Dragon

Lions, tigers and…dragons? Get ready Austin! For the first time in circus history, myth and majesty will share the arena at the Frank Erwin Center during this must-see family event that can only be witnessed at The Greatest Show On Earth®! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONSSM is a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon, and brings spellbinding acts from all over the world to the Frank Erwin Center Aug. 21–25.

This year, Ringling Bros.® Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over a fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. Dragon tribes from the far reaches of the earth will come together in a single performance, displaying their breathtaking skills in a circus tournament of champions. Each tribe must prove that they possess virtues of Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Heart to arouse dragons to appear!

In addition to dragons, a menagerie of new and traditional circus animals will join in on the fun. Read below to find out more about these whimsical, heartwarming and awe inspiring animals only found at Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS.

Amazing Asian Elephants

Amazing Asian Elephants - Photo from RBBB

The treasured Ringling Bros. Asian elephants, the largest herd of any circus in North America, are presented in an incredible spectacle of majestic wonder and strength. These unique animals are respected and revered members of the Ringling Bros. family, and are a lifelong symbol of The Greatest Show on Earth. To preserve these beloved family members, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation® was established in 1995 to conserve, breed and understand this magnificent species.

Fun fact: These large but loveable mammals are on average 10-feet tall, and can have up to 150,000 muscles in their trunks!

High-Energy K9s

High-Energy K9s - Photo from RBBB

Hans Klose, Ringling Bros.’ canine expert, will bring 10 high-energy rescue dogs and display their animal athleticism by high jumping, hurdling, back flipping, walking on their hind legs and even diving from 16-feet up in the air! Hans has a variety of canines ranging from several mixed breeds to Standard Poodles, Fox Terriers, a Great Dane and an Australian Shepherd.

Fun fact: To reward the traveling canines for their skills, Hans gives them hot dogs!

Gorgeous Horses

Gorgeous Horses - Photo from RBBB

In a breathtaking act of horsemanship and amazing agility, the Riders of the Wind execute incredible stunts with thoroughbred horses that push the boundaries of strength and courage! For centuries, horses have been valued for their speed, stamina, learning ability and strength. In fact, horses were the first animal circus performers! At Ringling Bros., there are more horses than any other animal species.

Fun fact: There are three classifications of horses: ponies (Shetland), light horses (Arabian) and heavy horses (Clydesdale).

Fierce Felines

Fierce Felines - Photo from RBBB

But wait, there’s more! See the fabulous felines that make audiences roar with delight! Alexander Lacey, trainer and award-winning presenter, along with his big cats including tigers and lions, will summon brazen bravado and valor in one mixed cat display. The tiger is one of the largest predators in the world—and one of the rarest. These big cats are an endangered species, and Ringling Bros. are currently working on conservation projects in India and Russia to keep these beautiful animals around for generations.

Fun fact: Lacey communicates with his cats by speaking English and German. He knows his cats so well, he can distinguish each one by their individual roars.

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