This week’s annual parade of elephants toward the TD Garden means the circus has returned to Boston.

It also means that animal rights activists are urging people not to attend the three-ring show — or others like it that feature exotic animals.

“They are subjected to a rigorous travel schedule between stops, during which time the animals are confined by the use of chains, electric fencing and/or small cages,” said Linda Huebner, the deputy director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, which plays at the Garden through the weekend, said on its website that it provides the highest level of care for its animals.