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Two camels escape petting zoo at Cedar Point

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June 13 (UPI) -- Visitors at Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park witnessed chaos unfold when a pair of camels escaped from the park's petting zoo.

Park-goers captured video when the camels, named Sampson and Artie, escaped from The Barnyard petting zoo at the Sandusky attraction and ran through the crowd of visitors.

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"They were coming straight at you, and the next thing we were worried about was just getting out of the way. We picked up my little sister, put her over the railing, and me and my dad followed suit," Justin Garcia, who captured video of the incident, told WEWS-TV.

Garcia said the camels seemed "really freaked out and didn't know what they were doing or where they were going."

He said some visitors took shelter with other petting zoo animals.

"There was people diving out of the way, climbing into the pen with the llamas and alpacas just to get away from them," Garcia said.

Cedar Point spokesman Tony Clark confirmed the incident to Cleveland.com.

"Last night, the two camels decided to take an unplanned stroll just outside their home at The Barnyard (our 'petting zoo' area on the Frontier Trail) but were quickly returned," he wrote in an email. "We're looking into how they made it to the midway."

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There were no reports of injuries from the camels' time on the loose.

The incident earned a condemnation from PETA Foundation senior director of captive animal welfare Debbie Metzler.

"No one should be surprised that distressed camels panicked and ran away, hoping to escape a near-constant, chaotic barrage of excessive handling, noisy roller coasters, and screaming park-goers," Metzler said in a statement. "PETA is calling on federal authorities to hold Honey Hill Farm accountable for failing to protect these frightened animals -- and members of the public who were endangered during their attempts to flee -- and urges people everywhere to steer clear of seedy enterprises that exploit vulnerable animals."

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