WATCH: Circus Elephant Runs Loose Down Montana Road After Escaping Handler

NBC Montana via YouTube
NBC Montana via YouTube

A 58-year-old circus elephant caused quite a stir in Montana on Tuesday afternoon, escaping from its handlers and briefly roaming the streets of Butte while binging traffic to a standstill in the city of 35,000.

Little has been reported on how the elephant made its great escape, but NBC Montana shared a video of the enormous mammal crossing a highway while a handler desperately chased behind with a bullhook.

“A f----- elephant is going down the road, my God,” a woman can be heard saying through laughter in a viral clip.

That video showed the massive mammal moving—quite briskly—across the highway and through parking lots for a gas station and casino before it left the camera view behind a building. Other snaps showed the elephant on a home’s front lawn, where NBC Montana reported it used the bathroom.

DJ Bauer, a local TV news journalist, posted to X that the elephant is named Viola and is from Asia. He added that she escaped from her pen after she was scared by a truck.

A website for the Jordan World Circus showed that its scheduled to perform a pair of shows in Butte on Tuesday afternoon and evening, but it may be hard to top the lunchtime show put on by Viola as she ran from her handlers.

The local NBC station reported the elephant was “safe and with its handlers” by 1:44 p.m. local time. Bauer reported that there was no property damage and that Viola wasn’t harmed herself.

Performing Animal Welfare Society said in a statement that Tuesday’s incident isn’t the first time an elephant escaped from its handlers at the Jordan World Circus, which has come under fire in Montana for its treatment of animals previously.

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