Four elephants were calm and playful Monday, unharmed after the truck pulling their trailer ran off Interstate 10 in south Mississippi over the weekend, a circus official said.
Renee Storey, vice president of administration for Cole Brothers Circus of the Stars, said the elephants were being transported from Mobile, Ala., to a circus in Hammond, La., when the truck and trailer went off a rural stretch of the interstate Sunday night. The driver of the truck also was not hurt.
Storey said the elephants have since reached their destination, a circus ground in southern Louisiana, after being towed by another vehicle.
Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Johnny Poulos said the truck driver reported that another vehicle forced him off the road Sunday night in Hancock County, Miss. The truck went off the right side of the road and down an embankment.
The truck was disabled, but the trailer was not seriously damaged.
Three of the elephants were unloaded while the trailer was unhooked from the damaged truck and pulled back to the interstate, but the fourth was too angry to move at the time, said Kurt Necaise, incident commander for West Hancock County Fire and Rescue.
Necaise said the trailer was pulled to the road and the three elephants were reloaded. A tow company pulled the trailer to a welcome center where the circus could pick it up. Storey said it’s hard to put a monetary value on the elephants.
“To us, invaluable. You can’t put a price tag on a family member. These elephants are like family,” Storey said.