The Russian city of Yekaterinburg witnessed an unusual scene recently when two elephants escaped a visiting circus to play around in the snow.
An Italian circus was passing through the city on it’s way to St Petersburg, when the elephants, 45-year-old Carla and 50-year-old Roni, chose to make a dash for it to have a frolic in the snow.
It wasn’t long before photos and videos of the playful elephants reached social media, shared by delighted citizens who never expected to see scenes like this in the city.
One of the elephants was insistent on heading towards a residential building, and gently pushed a man across the street who was trying to stop her by holding her trunk.
It took quite an effort by the trainers to round the elephants up and get them safely back to the circus truck owned by the Togni family, one of the biggest Italian circus dynasties.
Circus art director and host Sergey Bondarchuk told Russian state media:
“The elephants have their own character and emotions, they are very smart. They walked outside and got very happy from seeing the snow, the trees and the pedestrians whom they took for spectators.”
It took around a dozen people – handlers and helpful passers by – to get the elephants back to their truck.
“We love our animals a lot, they are our family. They too love the circus, they get bored without work, Sergey added.
The circus explained:
“Our animals will live and die with us, they won’t survive in the wild.”