Circus elephant wounded in Mississippi drive-by shooting - Hartford Pets | Examiner.com
Carol, a 39-year old Asian elephant with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey was the victim of a drive-by shooting yesterday morning in Tupelo, MS, just as the circus crew finished setting up what’s called the circus compound at BancorpSouth Arena where employees live and where animals are housed. Carol was inside a covered tent with two other Asian elephants when she sustained at least one bullet wound between her ear at the base of her neck area.
The 8,000 lb pachyderm has been with the circus all her life, and is expected to be okay, and should be able to go back to work in about 6-8 weeks according to a circus vet.
Tupelo Police Captain Rusty Haynes reported that a white or silver Ford Explorer (which he called a “vehicle of interest”) was seen on a street behind the arena around the time of the shooting.
“It’s, you know, it was a drive-by shooting.”says it’s unknown what type of weapon caused the wound, “The elephant has sustained at least one bullet wound between her ear and I guess you would have to consider it the base of her neck area,” he stated.
Rob Lang, General Manager for Ringling’s “Gold Edition,” “Never in the one hundred forty-three years of Ringling Brothers Circus has anything like this ever happened. So, a lot of disbelief, a lot of disappointment.”
In the meantime, Arena Executive Director Todd Hunt says the shooting is a black eye for Tupelo, “It doesn’t represent the population as a whole, I’m convinced. And it certainly doesn’t represent our facility and our community.”
A reward of more than $16,000 in reward money is being offered to find the person who shot Carol. “Since she’s an endangered species, if the person is ever caught, they’ll likely be going to jail for a long time,” stated local officials..
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