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Coney Island, NY -- A fully sanctioned cross-species eating contest will occur at 11 AM on Friday, July 3, between Major League Eating and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING, in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

The event, a six-minute hot dog bun-eating competition, held in cooperation with Nathan’s Famous, will feature three Ringling Bros.® Asian elephants and three Major League Eaters. The human eaters will compete the next day in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest, a holiday tradition that attracts worldwide attention.

The elephants -- Bunny, 42, Susie, 46, and Minnie, 48 – will compete against Juliet Lee, 43, Gravy Brown, 30, and Patrick Bertoletti, 24. Collectively, the elephants weigh approximately 9 tons while the humans weigh just shy of 500 pounds.

“This contest has significant implications for inter-species relations,” said George Shea, Chairman of Major League Eating “If the humans win it shows we are unbeatable in this sport, and if the elephants win it will significantly enhance their stature in the animal kingdom.”

“Eating approximately 150-200 pounds fruits, vegetables, hay, grain and bread daily is average for meeting an elephant’s nutritional needs,” said Janice Aria, Director of Animal Stewardship, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. “Asian elephants enjoy eating bread and they can typically eat a foot long loaf of bread in 1.6 seconds. Ringling Bros. has strong confidence that the elephants participating in this first-time event will be victorious.”

Shea said the humans might be able to use their speed-eating technique like dunking, a process of using water to compact bread, to their advantage. Aria countered that elephants, the largest land mammal in the world have their own true advantage, with more than 150,000 muscles and tendons in their trunk, the elephants can scoop up large quantities of hot dog buns at a time.

Juliet Lee, a 105-pound mother of two from Germantown, Maryland, who consumed 13.23 pounds of cranberry sauce in eight minutes to secure the world cranberry sauce-eating title, said: “An elephant can eat 200 pounds of food, but that is only three percent of its body weight. I can eat 12.6 percent of my body weight in eight minutes and I do not anticipate any difficulty eating more food than the elephants will in a head-to-head match.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING

The Greatest Show On Earth® hits the boardwalk this summer for the very first time in its 139-year history! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING, an action-packed seaside circus spectacular in which the energy bursts out of the ring, into the audience and ricochets back to electrify the Ringling Bros.® performers. Circus-goers will enjoy an up-close and personal experience in a comfortable air-conditioned tent featuring beautiful white tigers, majestic Asian elephants and thrilling acrobats from around the world. THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING action bounces from one high-energy act to the next, featuring a daring crossbow demonstration that takes archery to new extremes, a globe of steel in which whizzing motorcyclists orbit at speeds of 65 miles an hour and a gravity-defying performance on the whirling Wheel of Steel. The circus is a cornerstone of the New York City summer and THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING is a one-of-a-kind experience that will engage all the senses while providing Children Of All Ages with a day at The Greatest Show On Earth they never imagined possible!

Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest

The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest features top eaters from around the globe in a dramatic event that attracts more than 20,000 fans and is aired live on ESPN. Arch rivals Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi of Japan will engage in a much-anticipated rematch this year at 12 Noon on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues. The event has been held each year since Nathan’s Famous opened in 1916, according to archives.