Circus family thankful for community support

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Ringling Bros. Circus performers and staff told the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau they are touched by the love and support from the community after one of their elephants was wounded in a drive-by shooting.
“Ringling Brothers appreciates support from the Tupelo community,” said Ringling Bros. Circus spokesperson Melinda Hartline. “Children came to our morning show Thursday and brought hand-drawn pictures of elephants and cards for us to pass on to Carol. It’s all been very positive.”
With an addition of $10,000 from George Carden Circus International, the reward has increased to $31,800 for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for shooting Carol, the 39-year-old Asian elephant who was in Tupelo to perform with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Capt. Allan Gilbert of Crime Stoppers of North Mississippi and the Tupelo Police Department said while no charges have been filed, investigators are following up on leads they’ve received.
Anyone with information can call (800) 773-8477.
The first of the scheduled circus performances at the BancorpSouth Arena was Thursday night, and other shows follow today, Saturday and Sunday.
Hartline said as of now the circus is scheduled to return to Tupelo next April.

jb.clark@journalinc.com