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Elephant Tries to Flee Irish Circus

Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk
And said goodbye to the circus
Off she went with a trumpety-trump
Trump, trump, trump.

In the old children’s song from the 1950s, an elephant decides she’s had enough of the circus, so she packs her trunk and takes off for the forests of Hindustan. “No more tricks for her to perform,” as she hears the herd calling her home “on the road to Mandalay.”

If only it were that easy. In Ireland, yesterday, one of the elephants tried to do just that. While being steered around a Blackpool, Cork, parking lot by trainers from the Courtney Brothers circus, a depressed-looking elephant decided she’d had enough, dodged her captors, and began running away.

She escaped into a busy street, charged over a cross-street, and headed for a shopping center. Eventually, she was brought under control by the captors, who appear to be wielding bullhooks.

This video was captured in an office overlooking the parking lot:

The Irish Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) called on people to boycott all circuses that use captive wildlife in their acts.

“This should be seen as a clear warning that’s it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed or injured” ARAN spokesman John Carmody said. “These are animals who belong in the wild but are kept in cramped vans and wagons for transportation and then made to perform ridiculous acts.”

Officials from the circus declined to comment.