In September a 2,000 pound giraffe escaped from the Rinaldo Orfei circus in Imola, Italy in a desperate bid for freedom. The animal managed to elude capture for more than four hours as shocked townspeople looked on, many caught in rush hour traffic made worse by the episode unfolding around them.
The terrified animal damaged cars, crawled under a mesh fence, and evaded barriers of buses and trucks set up by police. The exhausted giraffe was finally cornered in the empty parking lot of a grocery store. Circus workers were called in and they shot the animal with two tranquilizer darts.
Tragically the giraffe died almost immediately afterwards, apparently from a cardiac arrest. Circuses have long been criticized for their treatment of animals and movements exist to encourage circuses to become animal-free.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger