Armando Loyal, who works with animals for the Kelly Miller Circus, said circus visitors routinely ask for elephant dung to use as fertilizer or as the basis for paperweight sculptures, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.
"One lady got some dung from us, and a year later she came back. She brought us a tomato that looked like a softball," Loyal said.
The circus is never at a loss for elephant dung. Its three female Asian elephants produce nearly 4 cubic yards of fecal matter daily.
Circus owner John Ringling North, whose circus arrived in Troy Friday, even offered advice to gardeners considering using the animal waste to improve their gardens.
"You don't put it on fresh. You need to compost it. Let it rot down," North told the Post-Dispatch. "Then it really is super."