'Spooked' camel runs amok at Pittsburgh circus injuring seven people

Child's arm broken after animal thrashes free of its handler

Adam Forrest
Monday 17 September 2018 14:25
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7 injured after camel runs amok at pittsburgh cicrus

Seven people, including several children, were injured when a “spooked” camel began bucking wildly during a circus show in Pittsburgh.

Two children and an adult were riding the camel at the Shrine Circus on Sunday when the animal became startled and ran amok, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

One child’s arm was broken in the ruckus at the PPG Paints Arena, the newspaper reported. Another five children and one adult were taken to hospital.

Video footage captured by a spectator showed a woman stuck awkwardly to the side of the camel as it kicked around and ran across the arena floor.

It took 11 seconds for handlers to regain control of the animal.

The incident happened during an intermission at the afternoon show, when members of the audience were invited to go for a ride on tethered camels, ponies and elephants.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said the camel in question “got spooked” during the ride.

One witness told CBS Pittsburgh that a child had thrown a shovel at the camel’s feet, causing it to feel alarmed.

“They were giving camel rides and camels were walking around calmly,” Ruthie Kester told the network. “And then a kid threw a shovel at the camel’s feet, which startled the camel and it started to buck.”

Neither the camel nor any other animal was injured in the commotion. Both Pittsburgh Police and the Shrine Circus are now reviewing the incident.

The animals rights group Humane Action Pittsburgh released a statement about it on Sunday.

“We are saddened to hear of the incident that took place today at PPG Paints Arena with the Shrine Circus, but not at all surprised.

“Animal circuses ... have a long history of animal abuse and public safety violations.”

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