We were shocked this week to see the news that an elephant traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had been shot during a stop in Tupelo, Mississippi. Thankfully, the injury was not life-threatening and Carol the elephant is expected to recover. We hope those responsible for this horrible crime will be quickly identified and arrested.

Animal activists in South Florida may recognize the elephant victim. Carol was one of three elephants who, beginning in 1989, performed daily at the Swap Shop flea market in Fort Lauderdale. After 15 years, the flea market ended its financial support and the circus was evicted in 2005. The campaign against the Swap Shop circus was one of ARFF’s longest.

In 1990, Carol crushed a circus worker to death in the parking lot at the Swap Shop.

When Carol recovers, we hope that she does not rejoin the circus. Carol has suffered long enough. She deserves a peaceful retirement, free from constant travel chained in the back of a truck, and safe from random shootings!