TUPELO, Miss. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tupelo City Police are investigating the shooting of an Asian elephant that was touring with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus.
The incident occurred in the early morning of April 9 outside the Bancorp South Arena. Ringling Bros. veterinary and handling experts have examined the female elephant and found a dime-sized point of entry on the shoulder. The elephant is active, mobile and comfortable and is being treated with medication. The elephant will recuperate off the touring unit under veterinary care.
The Asian elephant species has been listed as endangered since 1976. Today there are approximately 35,000 Asian elephants left in the world.
Feld Entertainment Inc., producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is contributing $10,000 to the reward fund. George Carden Circus International is contributing $10,000, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is contributing $5,000, Crimestoppers of Northeast Mississippi is contributing $1,000, and former Mississippi 1st Congressional District Representative Travis Childers is contributing $250.