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Random gun violence is a sad fact of life in many cities in the United States, but inside the circus, there’s an expectation of safety. Unfortunately, that expectation crumbled Tuesday morning when an elephant was hit during a drive by shooting in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The specific shooter has not yet been identified, but local police have reportedly identified a car of interest. They’re searching for either a white or silver Ford Explorer that was seen lingering in the area not long before the shots were fired.

Here’s what Ringling Brothers manager Rob Lang told The Guardian after the shooting…
“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.”

The wounded elephant is a thirty-nine-year-old named Carol. The bullet entered her head between her ear and her skull, but luckily, the circus veterinarian expects her to make a full recovery within six to eight weeks. As for the possible motive, those close to the case haven’t offered any public theories, but it’s hard to imagine any of them could make any possible sense.

A reward of sixteen thousand dollars is currently being offered for information that leads to the conviction of the shooter. Anyone with knowledge is being encouraged to call the Tupelo Police at (662) 841-6491.

Here’s to hoping the lowlife who shot this elephant will be caught sooner rather than later. Until then, try to think about more happy memories involving animals.

Photo Credit: Denise Kappa /

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