Following the incident, an online petition was raised urging Ringling Bros. to retire Carol, and has since garnered nearly 15,000 signatures. Still, regardless of her age and injury, the circus has put the elephant back on a multi-city tour -- including three shows at the scene of the crime in Tupelo, where the investigation is still underway.
No word on how much time the elephant was given to recover before training began anew, but a statement from Ringling Bros. justifies the quick return saying "Carol recovered faster than expected."
However, some critics suspect that the circus's decision not to place Carol into retirement is driven by profit without due consideration of her welfare -- a belief in line with numerous other reports that elephants are regularly abused by Ringling Bros. handlers as encouragement for them to perform.
According to the database Elephant Encyclopedia, Carol has been training or performing for circuses since 1974, the year of her birth. Ringling Bros. proudly boasts that their elephants born into captivity receive the utmost care and are allowed the important opportunity to bond and socialize with their families on their circus-owned sanctuary.
Carol's origins are listed simply as "wild."