Animals went on the loose after truck carrying them bursts into flames on Interstate 69
A semi-truck hauling circus animals erupted in flames early Saturday morning on an Indiana highway morning — setting free camels, zebras and a horse to run wild along the pavement.
Troopers scrambled to rescue camels on Interstate 69, while five zebras munched on nearby grass, amidst the chaos of emergency vehicles and smoke from a trailer, The New York Post reported.
The trailer carrying animals caught fire on Interstate 69 near Indianapolis around 2 am, but two troopers spotted the fire and rushed to rescue the animals, according to state police.
“It’s not something we see every day,” said Deputy Brent Ressett with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
Four hours later, officials extinguished a fire on the blocked highway and reopened it, while also corralling the animals. Zebras, camels, and miniature horses remained alert, allowing the furry performers to be easily accounted for after the inferno.
The semi-truck was destroyed in the fire, attributed to equipment failure. However, none of the 10 animals or their 57-year-old driver were injured in the accident.
The two officers who rushed into the smoking trailer to rescue the circus animals were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation but were later released.
Police fenced the camels, zebras and horses between makeshift barriers until other trucks from the Shrine Circus arrived.
According to the circus director Steve Trump, the truck was bringing the animals from Florida to Fort Wayne for a four-weekend circus performance in northeastern Indiana for an annual fundraiser for the Mizpah Shrine Circus.
He said the performances are annual fundraisers for the Mizpah Shrine Circus to help pay for the upkeep of the Shrine Center in Fort Wayne to “allow us to use our other fundraisers for what we’re known best for, taking care of kids.”