Community rallies for Carol the elephant

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Following the outrage over a drive-by-shooting that wounded Carol, a circus elephant, early Tuesday morning, the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering a big way for people to offer a little support.
An elephant sized get-well card is in the lobby of the Tupelo CVB for anyone to sign. The card will be moved to the BancorpSouth Arena Friday afternoon for people to sign while at the circus.
Carol, the 39-year-old Asian elephant hit by a bullet Tuesday morning, left Tupelo to spend time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus farm in Springfield, Mo., where she is expected to make a full recovery.
“She did well overnight with her friends Duchess and Patty,” said Melinda Hartline, spokesperson for the circus. “We can’t wait to have her back on the show because we’ll be a missing a family member.”
Duchess and Patty, the two other elephant performers, will remain in Tupelo for the circus events beginning today. The first performance is at 7 p.m. tonight with additional shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed said he was shocked by the senseless violence. “We hope to show the true ‘Tupelo Spirit’ by coming together as a community to support Carol and provide for the needs of the animals right here at home,” he said.
As a part of the CVB’s effort to support Carol, it is collecting donations of dog and cat food, towels, blankets, sheets and monetary donations for the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society.
After the circus, the card will be presented to members of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the shooting total $23,750 – split among the circus itself, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CrimeStoppers, former Congressman Travis Childers and the Performing Animal Welfare Society, which added $2,500 to the total on Wednesday.
Anyone with information should call (800) 773-8477.
jb.clark@journalinc.com