Elephants escape in Swedish park

May 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, May 30 (UPI) -- A trio of elephants from a traveling circus escaped in a Swedish city and were seen eating vegetation in a public park, witnesses said.

Christer Johansson, who witnessed the incident at the Slottsskogen park in Gothenburg, said the elephants appeared calm when they wandered away from the circus and grazed on the park's plants, The Local.se reported Wednesday.

"First, the staff of the circus had the elephants within the fences, but suddenly the gates were open and they walked out," he said. "Now they're free in the woods."

The Aftonbladet newspaper said the elephants were safely back within the circus' fence by late afternoon.

Jonas Wahlstrom of the Skansen Open Air museum in Stockholm said he suspects the incident was a publicity stunt.

"It's clear that this is a PR stunt. The elephants have certainly had a push in the backside as they escaped," he said. "Circus elephants are very tame and have been trained to do exactly what you want. If elephants panic, they can obviously run people down, but it would surprise me if this happened with circus elephants."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Tacoma high school stadium rapidly floods in 'epic rain storm'
Restaurant offers partial ownership in 30-pound burrito 'challenge'
Fishermen find boar swimming four miles offshore
Drunk driving suspect drove topless van with a motorcycle inside
Florida woman arrested, jailed after web streaming her DUI, police say