Carol the elephant was shot by an unknown assailant in 2013. She has since recovered and returned to the circus to entertain and delight children and adults of all ages.
The circumstances of Carol’s shooting are somewhat mysterious and there have been no arrests or suspects named in the crime. Witnesses reported hearing gunshots at 2 a.m. on April 9, 2013, then saw a white SUV speed away from the parking lot.
When it was discovered that Carol had been shot, the police were notified and a $33,750 reward was and is still being offered for any information about the shooting or shooters that leads to an arrest.
The shooting has caused the Circus to take better security precautions. The elephants were once kept out in an open pen at night and when they were not performing in the circus. The circus now pulls semi-trucks around the pen to keep the animals hidden from view and to make it harder for intruders to harm them.
Carol has recovered well and a small scar near her shoulder is the only sign that the elephant was shot. Although Carol has recovered, the case is still open and police officers are hoping they will find the person responsible for harming the elephant.
"The case is still being investigated," Tupelo Police Lt. Jerry Davis said. "Detectives are still working on it; we just do not have any new information to follow up on at this time.”
Carol enjoys performing at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and her caretakers believe that she has no memory of the shooting or injury.
“She doesn’t understand that somebody tried to maliciously hurt her; she doesn’t understand that. She just had a little boo-boo; we fixed it right away,” her handler Cathy Carden said.
The police are asking anyone with information related to the shooting to come forward.
Why do you think someone would shoot a circus elephant?
Image via Wikimedia Commons