(San Andreas, CA) The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) condemns the brutal act against a traveling circus elephant this morning in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Carol, an eight thousand pound Asian elephant, was being housed at an outdoor arena while Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey workers set up for a four-day circus run when she was shot.
Early reports indicate that the bullet or bullets struck her in the neck. According to a veterinarian, the bullet(s) did not damage any major blood vessels or nerves.
"This inhumane act of violence against Carol is reprehensible. Circus elephants are normally restricted to small spaces or chained by their legs. This was a cowardly act with complete disregard for life," stated PAWS President Ed Stewart.
Stewart adds, "We understand from reports that Carol has been a circus elephant her entire life. We certainly hope that Carol recovers fully from her wounds and is now offered a permanent retirement from performing and travel."
Founded in 1984, the Performing Animal Welfare Society is an internationally recognized leader in captive elephant protection and leads campaigns to put an end to the inherent elephant cruelty associated with traveling circus shows.
"If PAWS can be of any immediate assistance we are extending our offer to help Carol. In addition, we are offering a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of this callous, senseless act," Stewart pledges.
PAWS provides permanent sanctuary for eight elephants who are retired from the rigors of traveling circus life or inadequate zoo exhibits. For more information, visit our website at www.pawsweb.org.
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PAWS is a proud member of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and is a 4-star charity with Charity Navigator.