By Chris Parsons
On the loose: Baby the Asian elephant wanders near to parked cars in Blackpool, County Cork as her handlers struggle to restrain her
A 2.5-tonne circus elephant caused havoc after escaping her handlers are going on the run through a busy shopping centre car park.
Shoppers in Blackpool, County Cork, Ireland, were stunned to see Asian elephant Baby charging through the town's retail park after apparently fleeing from her circus home just yards away.
The 40-year-old elephant somehow wandered free from the circus in Blackpool to a busy retail park filled with cars and shoppers on Tuesday afternoon.
Stop that elephant: Baby wanders through the Blackpool Retail Park after apparently fleeing from her circus handers during a promotional tour
Courtney Circus had been parading its animals as part of a promotional stunt when Baby apparently decided to take her own route through the small Irish town.
She was spotted being restrained outside a Costa Coffee by two concerned handlers, worried whether the freed elephant would trample any nearby cars.
Instead the huge animal galloped through the car park and charged past a barrier into the town centre as her handlers struggled to keep her still.
Coffee shop manager Egle Vilumaite said she had been alerted to the elephant by a customer.
She said: 'One customer just said, 'Look there is an elephant running', and I was like 'Yeah OK', because the day before they were actually walking the elephants around for publicity.
On the charge: Baby continues her impromptu tour through Blackpool by galloping past a barrier towards the town centre
Bid for freedom: Baby's handlers insisted no-one was ever in danger during the incident, despite the 2.5-tonne elephant apparently wandering around of her own accord
'But yesterday elephant actually escaped and he was running around on his own and then you could see the guys from the circus, probably they look after her, and the elephant wasn't happy.
'I'd say she was scared as well because it was around 4 o'clock so there was a lot of cars, a lot of people around and everyone literally stood there.
'It was quick, maybe everything took 3-5 minutes but it was really intense,' she said.
Officials said nobody was hurt and Baby the elephant is now back at the circus preparing for her next performance.
Baby's handlers claimed she ran away from the circus because she did not want to take a shower, but insisted no-one was in danger during the incident.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Will that be a jumbo latte, miss? Moment 'Baby' the elephant went on the rampage outside Costa coffee in Cork
By Chris Parsons