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$26K reward offered for info in circus elephant shooting

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Federal wildlife officials and police in Tupelo, Miss., are investigating the shooting of a circus elephant, and a $26,250 reward has been offered for information.

The elephant, a 39-year-old Asian female named Carol, was outside the Bancorp South Arena in Tupelo with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Tuesday when an unidentified driver fired a shot into the pen where circus personnel kept the elephant, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Handlers said they found a dime-sized bullet hole in the elephant's shoulder. Though the elephant isn't experiencing discomfort, she will be taken off the tour while she recuperates, officials said.

Feld Entertainment, the producer of the circus, and George Carden Circus International each contributed $10,000 to the reward fund. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added $5,000, Crimestoppers of Northeast Mississippi contributed $1,000, and former Mississippi 1st Congressional District Rep. Travis Childers contributed $250.

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