Circus Elephant Injured in Drive-By Shooting

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An elephant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was shot by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting, according to the Daily Mail U.K.

Carol, a 39-year-old Asian elephant, was in her pen outside the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., early Tuesday morning at around 2 a.m. when a single shot was fired into the enclosure from a vehicle driving by. The bullet struck Carol in the base of her neck.

"What we believe is it was a single shot fired deliberately at Carol," Capt. Rusty Haynes of the Tupelo police department told the Associated Press.

A security guard on the scene immediately called for medical assistance.

Fortunately, Carol is tough. Literally. Elephants have very tough, 1-inch-thick skin. Twenty minutes after being shot, the elephant was still walking around her pen, eating carrots.

According to Dr. Dennis Schmidt, a circus veterinarian who treated Carol, the elephant was shot "not in an area that has any major blood vessels, nerves, didn't hit any bone, anything like that." She is expected to make a full recovery.

No other animals were harmed in the attack.

The circus flew in their own team of veterinarians to look after Carol. She is being treated and will remain under veterinary care and observation for several weeks.

Because Asian elephants are an endangered species, the attack is considered a federal offense.

There currently are no suspects in the crime. "We're dealing with a victim who can't talk," said Capt. Haynes. Police are on the lookout for a white or silver Ford Explorer that was seen driving by the area at the time of the shooting.


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