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Hunger blamed in elephant's bid for freedom from circus

Fugitive elephant caught grazing near busy Rome highway

06 December, 16:09
Hunger blamed in elephant's bid for freedom from circus (ANSA) - Rome, December 6 - Hunger may have tempted a mature elephant to make a short-lived bid for freedom from a circus camped in northeast Rome, authorities said Friday.

The 46-year-old elephant named Mia was discovered missing late Friday morning but was found less than two hours later munching on grass not far from the Italian capital's busy ring road.

Alarmed citizens who spotted the pachyderm called police after she was reported missing from the Amedeo Orfei circus which has been based for the past week in the northeast corner of Rome not far from the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA) highway that rings the city.

In a similar incident in early November, another elephant fled a circus based in eastern Rome's Ponte di Nona area but rather than grazing, he had headed for a food market to forage.

State forestry officials said Friday they will investigate to ensure Mia and other animals belonging to the Orfei circus have been properly cared for.