Runaway elephant prompts fresh calls for animal ban in circuses

The startling sight of a runaway elephant in a Cork city car park yesterday has led to fresh calls for legislation to ban live animals from performing in circuses.

The startling sight of a runaway elephant in a Cork city car park yesterday has led to fresh calls for legislation to ban live animals from performing in circuses.

The Indian elephant gave customers in Blackpool shopping centre in the city a fright when it broke free from the Courtney Bros circus camped nearby.

The pachyderm, ignoring the efforts of a keeper to bring it under control, ambled through the shopping centre car park before dashing onto a nearby road.

It was eventually brought under control and returned to the circus.

Footage of the incident was captured by workers in an office block overlooking the scene.

Footage: Copyright, Paul Dunbar

Animal rights group ARAN said the footage showed "the need for local councils to adopt proper legislation to ensure circuses are banned on grounds of animal welfare and public safety".

"If this footage is not a wake up call for members of the public to stay clear of animal-act circuses then what is?" says ARAN's John Carmody.

"We're calling for people across the country to take their children to circuses that no longer use animals and we're also calling on local councils across the country to adopt motions to ban animal-act circuses using their land as matter of urgency."

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