Circus Elephant Injured In Drive-By Shooting

I am fairly certain that we can file this under the most odd crime report ever:

TUPELO, Miss. — An elephant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was injured in an early morning drive-by shooting Tuesday but is expected to make a full recovery.

The elephant, one of several performing with the traveling circus, was in an enclosure outside the BancorpSouth Arena when it was hit by a bullet in the shoulder, said the arena’s marketing director, Kevan Kirkpatrick. The shooting occurred around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

“We had have the circus once a year since 1995,” Kirkpatrick said. “Absolutely this is the first elephant shooting we had.”

A security guard on the scene was able to provide a description of the vehicle to the Tupelo Police Department, which is investigating, Kirkpatrick said. The police department didn’t immediately return a call for comment Tuesday morning.

The department has been in touch with state and federal wildlife authorities and, because the Asian elephant is an endangered species, the crime will be pursued as a federal offense under the Endangered Species Act, Haynes said.

Part of the price, I suppose, of being a wild animal livin’  in a Gangsta’s Paradise.

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. John Burgess says:

    If the creep gets caught he get to enjoy the federal criminal system. That seems just.

  2. neil hudelson says:

    Good day for headlines.

  3. Moosebreath says:

    Clearly, the elephant should have been permitted to carry a concealed weapon, as its only protection is to exercise its right to bear arms.

  4. @Moosebreath:

    Well presumably the elephant would be covered by the safe passage provision of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, as long as he keeps the firearm in his trunk.

  5. Moosebreath says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    But then he would no longer be a packing pachyderm!