Tuesday, April 27, 2010

....Circus elephant captured after escape....

Staff reports
Published: April 27, 2010
Updated: April 27, 2010

A circus elephant that temporarily escaped from its handlers was recovered around 7 p.m.

The elephant, named Viola, was apparently spooked by a rabbit while outside the circus tent early Tuesday evening, officials with Cole Brothers Circus said. She wandered a few hundred feet into a group of trees.

The elephant ran directly past a line of spectators waiting to buy tickets, sending some running toward the parking lot. Handlers and circus workers chased after the elephant.

The circus was being held at Presbyterian Homes and Family Services on VES Road.

Officials said Viola appeared to have mildly injured herself when she stepped in a hole while loping down an embankment.

No circus goers were in danger at any point during the incident, which lasted about 30 minutes, circus officials said.

City Councilman Michael Gillette, ward representative for this area, said he understood the incident was short-lived and presented no threat to the community. He did not regret voting for the permit that allowed the circus to come to Presbyterian Homes.
“We certainly hoped this wouldn’t happen and we hope it won’t happen again, but I’m happy that at no time was anyone in any danger,“ he said.