Entries in Ringling Bros. (2)


Reward Offered in Drive-By Shooting of Circus Elephant

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TUPELO, Miss.) -- A total of over $20,000 is being offered as a reward in the drive-by shooting of a circus elephant.

Police Chief Tony Carleton said that a vehicle drove past Tupelo's Bancorp South Arena at about 2 a.m. and fired into the area. An elephant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was hit in the shoulder while it was in an enclosure outside the arena. Police are currently investigating the incident.

According to USA Today, the reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible totals $21,250. That figure includes $10,000 from the circus, $5,000 each from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, $1,000 from Crime Stoppers of North Mississippi, and $250 from former 1st District U.S. Representative Travis Childers.

The elephant, named Carol, was one of several performing with the traveling circus. While a security guard at the arena was able to provide police with some information, the investigation has not yet garnered many leads, according to USA Today.

Because the elephant is an Asian elephant, an endangered species, the crime is considered a federal offense under the Endangered Species Act. USA Today reported that the circus flew in its own veterinarian to treat the the elephant, which will take several weeks. The elephant is expected to make a complete recovery. The circus will continue as scheduled.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ringling Bros. Agrees to Pay Largest-Ever Animal Welfare Act Settlement

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has agreed to pay $270,000 to make a USDA animal cruelty investigation go away. The agency calls this civil penalty the largest ever assessed against a circus under the Animal Welfare Act. The circus also has agreed to require a training regimen “for all personnel who work with and handle animals.”

"This settlement sends a direct message to the public and to those who exhibit animals that USDA will take all necessary steps to protect animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the announcement.

The circus has long been in the crosshairs of animal rights activists and this settlement resolves “alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating from June 2007 to August 2011.”

PETA had sued the USDA over alleged lack of enforcement of the AWA in regards to this circus. Feld Entertainment, which runs the circus, denies the allegations and calls the settlement “a business decision.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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