(TUPELO, Miss.) — A total of over $20,000 is being offered as a reward in the drive-by shooting of a circus elephant.
Police Chief Tony Carleton said that a vehicle drove past Tupelo’s Bancorp South Arena at about 2 a.m. and fired into the area. An elephant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was hit in the shoulder while it was in an enclosure outside the arena. Police are currently investigating the incident.
According to USA Today, the reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible totals $21,250. That figure includes $10,000 from the circus, $5,000 each from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, $1,000 from Crime Stoppers of North Mississippi, and $250 from former 1st District U.S. Representative Travis Childers.
The elephant, named Carol, was one of several performing with the traveling circus. While a security guard at the arena was able to provide police with some information, the investigation has not yet garnered many leads, according to USA Today.
Because the elephant is an Asian elephant, an endangered species, the crime is considered a federal offense under the Endangered Species Act. USA Today reported that the circus flew in its own veterinarian to treat the the elephant, which will take several weeks. The elephant is expected to make a complete recovery. The circus will continue as scheduled.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Elise Labott, Kevin Liptak and Patrick Oppmann, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN