'Elderly' circus elephant Viola breaks loose in Montana streets

Jordan World Circus elephant escapes to Montana streets leaving bystanders stunned

Web Desk
Spooked circus elephant spotted on Montana streets.

A circus elephant named Viola was spotted roaming the streets in Butte, Montana in a spectacle that unfolded on Tuesday after she escaped her troupe, NBC Montana reported.

The giant elephant that is in town with the travelling circus called "The Jordan World Circus" escaped from their show and was caught exploring the streets on surveillance video from a Town Pump gas station.

The incident sent a wave of mixed emotions among viewers who were both astonished at the sight of the animal and concerned for their own and the mammal's safety.

However, a person who had been following the elephant hastily yet carefully handled Viola and safely returned to the circus.

According to Butte Sheriff Ed Lester, Viola's escapade from her pen outside the Civic Center was sparked by a moment of panic triggered by the startling noise of a passing truck.

The Asian elephant walked on the road for a block or two before circus staff managed to safely loaded into a trailer by circus staff.

Fortunately, neither the elephant nor the bystanders were injured as the handlers recaptured Viola without law enforcement help after no more than 20 minutes.

"Glad it ended well and as far as I know the show went on as scheduled!" Lester said.

A bystander shared the video with NBC Montana which has received thousands of views on social media and YouTube.

In an email statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), spokesperson Nicole Perreira described Viola as an "elderly elephant" who has escaped "at least two other times — in 2010 and 2014."