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Elephant heads to shopping mall after escaping circus

Shoppers in Ireland got a large surprise when a 5,500 pound elephant ran away from her circus and wandered around a parking lot.

Drivers called police on Tuesday after seeing the 40-year-old animal - called ‘Baby’ - wandering between cars parked outside stores in a suburb of Cork, according to a report in the Irish Examiner.

Handlers attempted to lead Baby back to the circus but the reluctant pachyderm made another dash for freedom, heading towards a nearby mall.

One driver claimed the Indian elephant had damaged his parked car while evading circus employees, the newspaper reported.

It said the animal was eventually stopped and escorted back to the circus, located a short distance away.

Irish broadcaster RTE reported the circus as saying Baby broke loose and ran away because she did not want to take a shower.