Circus elephant shot in drive-by in Tupelo - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Circus elephant shot in drive-by in Tupelo

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(WMC-TV) – A North Mississippi community is in shock after the drive-by shooting of a circus elephant.

The show will go on at the circus in Tupelo.

But a 39-year-old Asian elephant named Carol won't be a part of it. She's heading home after becoming the victim of a drive-by shooting early Tuesday morning in the parking lot.

"It tears at your very fiber," chief veterinarian Dr. Dennis Schmitt said. "It makes you sick to your stomach that someone would shoot any animal, much less an endangered species."

Dr. Dennis Schmitt is chair of veterinary care and spent much of the afternoon caring for Carol. She's expected to make a full recovery.

Now investigators want to know who shot Carol in the neck.

"What a senseless act," said Tupelo police captain Rusty Haynes.

Police were combing areas outside the arena and off Highway 45 late Tuesday, looking for anything.

"What we believe is it was a single shot fired deliberately at Carol," Capt. Haynes said.

Dr. Schmitt said it's the first elephant he's ever had to treat for a gunshot in the United States. He hopes someone will speak up. Reward money has reached more than $20,000 from multiple agencies.

On Wednesday, the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau will have an elephant-size get well card for Carol, even though she'll head back to her home in Missouri to recover for several weeks.

"Fortunately it's not in an area that has any major blood vessels or nerves and it didn't hit a bone or anything like that," said Dr. Scmitt.

Investigators want to talk with the driver of a white or silver Ford Explorer that was in the area at the time of the shooting.

If you know anything call crime stoppers at 1-800-773-TIPS.

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