Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment two young men driving down a major road in an Italian city film a huge African elephant marching towards them in the middle lane.
The surreal scene was filmed through their car’s front window on the three-lane road in the city of Messina on the island of Sicily on the morning of Tuesday, 27th July.
The two men’s surprise is audible as they filmed the large mammal as it marched towards their vehicle as it drove close to the city’s San Filippo Stadium.
According to reports, the tusked animal had escaped from the Orfei Circus, which has been performing in the city in recent months.
The traffic police and one of the elephant’s handlers swiftly caught the large mammal and took it back to its tent.
However, it was not before it gave drivers an unexpected scare as it stomped down the middle of the road, prompting them to swerve out of its path.
As the elephant passes the car, what appears to be the circus can be seen on the other side of the road, believed to be the place from which it escaped.
It is unclear if anyone was charged over the clear safety breach, during which no injuries or damage were reported.
Local media reported that the elephant has probably since been transferred from its circus tent to somewhere else, given the sweltering temperatures the city is currently experiencing.
There are two species of African elephant, the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis). The former is endangered and the latter critically so.
Specimens can measure up to 13 feet tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to a whopping 13,334 pounds. Their tusks alone can weigh up to 99 pounds and measure up to 8 feet in length.