Apparently it was a drive by shooting.
Ringling Bros circus elephant recuperates from Mississippi shooting
Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian
Monday 15 April 2013 13.59 EDT
The Asian elephant was touring with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Tupelo, when she was shot near the shoulder while relaxing in her enclosure. A suspect was witnessed fleeing the scene, and multiple agencies have contributed money in a bid to track him or her down.
“It was surreal, I just couldn’t believe it,” Carden said of the moment she realised Carol had been wounded. “I saw a hole in my elephant, and a trickle of blood running down her leg, and she was just standing there like nothing had happened.”
The Asian elephant is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and there are believed to be fewer than 50,000 left in the wild.
Carol has entertained crowds across the US during her career, but Carden said the elephant had no known enemies. Although two other elephants in the enclosure escaped unharmed, Carden ruled out the possibility of the gunman having a grudge against Carol specifically.