Tags: shot | circus | elephant | returns

Shot Circus Elephant Returns to Ring as Police Still Seek Suspect

By Alexandra Ward   |   Friday, 04 Apr 2014 10:51 AM

A circus elephant that was injured in a drive-by shooting last year returned to the Mississippi arena where it all happened this week, as police continue to search for clues and suspects.

Carol, a 40-year-old, 7,535-pound elephant with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, suffered a gunshot wound last April outside the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., according to NBC News. Witnesses said they heard gunshots around 2 a.m. on April 9 and saw a white SUV leave the scene, but police never caught the culprit despite offering a reward of more than $30,000. It's not clear why the elephant was targeted in the shooting.

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"The case is still being investigated," Tupelo Police Lt. Jerry Davis told NBC News. "Detectives are still working on it; we just do not have any new information to follow up on at this time."

A circus veterinarian said Carol has "fully recovered" and all that's left of the shooting is a small scar on the pachyderm's right shoulder.

"She doesn’t understand that somebody tried to maliciously hurt her; she doesn't understand that," Cathy Carden, Carol's owner and trainer, told NBC News. "She just had a little boo-boo; we fixed it right away."

Carol and the circus returned to BancorpSouth Arena Thursday feeling positive and excited, but Carden said the shooting still affects her.

"They intentionally tried to harm Carol, kill Carol, but they could have killed anyone of us," she said. "We were all in R.Vs. We were parked in my R.V. with my family, my two little boys, and my husband."

Police are still asking for anyone with any information to come forward so Carol's shooter can be brought to justice.

"If you’ve heard anybody saying anything about this, you know it might not be anything that big, you might not think it’s that big, but it could be very helpful to us," Davis said.

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