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Elephants escape circus near St. Louis, damage vehicles

by ALLISON SYLTE

KSDK

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 10:16 AM

ST. CHARLES, Missouri (KSDK) — Police confirm three elephants escaped from the Moolah Shrine Circus at The Family Arena in this St. Louis suburb Saturday afternoon, roaming the parking lot and damaging multiple cars.

A witness said the parking lot was almost empty when it happened. In a statement, the Shrine Circus said handlers were able to occupy the animals, and "they are now resting comfortably in their compound at this time."

"We saw all these people running after them, and they were all screaming 'stop, stop,' and several of the circus people were trying to run alongside them," said Karyn Tunnicliff, who was in a car with her daughter outside the arena when it happened.

The elephants were allegedly spooked by loud noises when they ran off, multiple witnesses said.

Two cars were visibly damaged, and authorities couldn't confirm if additional vehicles or property was involved.

In true circus fashion, the next show went on.

The arena is about 19 miles northwest of St. Louis.

 

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