An elephant weighing two-and-a-half tons became agitated in a busy shopping centre car park, after escaping from a circus parade.
Baby, the 40-year-old Indian elephant, broke free from its handlers as they paraded her around the Irish town of Blackpool, Cork. According toSky News the parade was part of a promotional stunt by Courtney Brothers Circus.
Handlers soon recovered Baby but the incident has resulted in complaints from animal rights activists. The Irish Timesreported that John Carmody, spokesman for the Animal Rights Action Network, said “This should be seen as a clear warning that it is only a matter of time before someone is killed or injured. These are animals that belong in the wild but are kept in cramped vans and wagons for transportation and then made to perform ridiculous, degrading acts.”
Jim Conway, spokesman for Courtney Brothers Circus responded by stating all the circus animals were kept in heated tents and fed adequately. He said “Apart from common decency, it would be stupidity to abuse the animals that support our livelihoods."