TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The reward to find the person responsible for shooting a circus elephant in Tupelo early Tuesday morning has now jumped significantly.
Crime Stoppers of Northeast Mississippi initially offered up to $1,000.
Crime Stoppers spokesman Capt. Allan Gilbert tells WTVA.com that Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus has added $10,000.
In addition, Capt. Gilbert says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered a $5,000 reward, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered $5,000, while Travis W. Childers has added $250.
Capt. Gilbert says that brings the reward amount up to $21,250.
Police say someone shot and injured the 39-year-old Asian elephant known as Carol shortly after 2 o'clock Tuesday morning.
The elephant was being kept on the BancorpSouth Arena property in preparation for the Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus scheduled for this week.
Authorities say a white or silver Ford Explorer was seen in the area at the time of the shooting.
Police have described the incident as a drive-by shooting.
WTVA News has reported that a veterinarian has been caring for the injured elephant.
If you have any information on this crime, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Mississippi at 1-800-773-TIPS (8477).
Late this afternoon, veterinarian Dr. Dennis Schmitt examined Carol and says he located a dime-sized point of entry on the elephant's shoulder.
He says the 39-year-old pachyderm is active, mobile, comfortable and being treated with medication.
Dr. Schmitt says they will carry Carol to Springfield, Missouri for the next several weeks for veterinary care.
We plan continuing coverage on this much talked about story here at WTVA.com and on WTVA News.