$bric = array("Brazil", "Russia", "India", "China"); 
$ric = $bric; // array copy
$br = array_shift($ric); // left shift at $ric. $br stores "Brazil" 
print_r($bric); // $bric remains the same
print_r($ric); // $ric lost "Brazil"

Output:

Array
(
    [0] => Brazil
    [1] => Russia
    [2] => India
    [3] => China
)
Array
(
    [0] => Russia
    [1] => India
    [2] => China
)

Reference: PHP array_shift at php.net.