Elephant gets loose from circus museum, wanders Wisconsin town

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Photo credit: Jaime Lynn

Residents of a small Wisconsin town got quite the surprise Friday morning when they found an 8,400-pound elephant in their yard eating their flowers. 

The elephant, named Kelly, had escaped her enclosure at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin and wandered several blocks into the town.

The Baraboo Police Department received a call around 5:00 a.m. of an elephant on the loose, according to Chief Mark Schauf. Officers got to the elephant around 5:20 a.m. with the trainer and the elephant was back at Circus World shortly after. 

“[The trainer] walked up and said ‘Kelly, let’s go’ and the elephant followed him back,” Schauf said.

As for how the elephant made its great escape -- Schauf says Circus World has two elephants, the other of which is famous for getting out of things. He said the museum believes the elephant "manipulated the enclosure and Kelly was able to make her proverbial run for it." 

Circus World has reportedly come up with a temporary fix to make sure that neither elephant can get out again. They are working on finding a temporary solution "to make sure they will not have a repeat performance, as we have in circus lingo," Schauf said. 

This was the first time either of the elephants has gotten out, but it is not the first time residents in Baraboo have found elephants wandering the streets. 

According to the Baraboo News Republic, Circus World used to let elephants freely roam the grounds and one elephant, Myrtle, was notorious for showing up in people's backyards. 

“You hear from some older people in town every once in a while, ‘She was on my front lawn,’” one resident told the paper

Kelly caused virtually no damage during her early morning adventure, but she did eat some of one resident's flowers, which Circus World told police they will replace.