The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Tupelo City Police are investigating the shooting of an Asian elephant in Tupelo, Miss., who was touring with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The incident occurred in the early morning of April 9, 2013 outside the Bancorp South Arena. Ringling Bros. veterinary and handling experts have examined the female elephant, Carol, and found a dime size point of entry on the elephant’s shoulder. The elephant is active, mobile and comfortable and is being treated with medication. Carol will recuperate off the touring unit under veterinary care.
The Asian elephant species has been listed as an endangered since 1976. Today there are approximately 35,000 Asian elephants left in the world and to put in context is about the same population of Tupelo, Mississippi, with just over 35,000 residents. A reward of $26,250 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting of this elephant.
Feld Entertainment, Inc., producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is contributing $10,000 to the reward fund. George Carden Circus International is contributing $10,000, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is contributing $5,000, Crimestoppers of Northeast Mississippi is contributing $1,000, and former 1st Congressional District Representative Travis Childers is contributing $250.
Anyone with information concerning the shooting of the elephant should contact the USFWS Grenada Office of Law Enforcement at 662-227-0990, the USFWS Jackson Office of Law Enforcement at 601-965-4699, or CrimeStoppers at 800-773-8477.