The two-ton elephant that said goodbye to the circus


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The Independent Online

Off he went with a trumpety-trump, narrowly avoiding disaster as he stormed through a car park.

It was a case of life imitating art when a 2.5-ton elephant named Baby escaped from a circus in southern Ireland this week.

In much the same way that Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk and ran away from the circus, the 40-year-old pachyderm bolted away from his handlers and galloped through a retail park in Blackpool, County Cork, towards a café full of stunned customers.

No one was injured, but a video filmed from a nearby office showed that keepers had trouble keeping up with Baby as he stormed around the car park.

Egle Vilmaite, manager of Costa Coffee, told Ireland's RTE News:

"He was running around on his own and then you could see the guys from the circus running around, and the elephant wasn't happy.

"I'd say he was scared as well because it was around 4pm, so there was a lot of cars, a lot of people around and everyone literally stood there. Everything took probably three to five minutes, you know, but it was really intense."

Baby's handlers claimed he ran away from the circus because he did not want to take a shower, but insisted that no one was in danger during the incident.

Residents of Blackpool might count themselves lucky, however, as runaway elephants have often caused death and serious injury.

In January, a wild elephant killed three people after rampaging through a village in Nepal.