Published Thursday, 29 March 2012
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The 2.5-ton animal, whose name is Baby, broke loose in a car park in Blackpool close to a busy supermarket on Wednesday afternoon.
The astonishing incident was captured by CCTV cameras and camera phones at the busy retail park.
Eyewitness footage shows keepers from Courtney's Circus trying to bring the Indian elephant under control, as stunned shoppers look on.
But the elephant dashes for the exit and manages to get free before stampeding off towards town.
It is understood Baby was later cornered and captured.
No damage was caused and no-one was hurt.
The 40-year-old elephant is believed to have escaped because she didn't want to have a shower.
An eyewitness said: "The elephant wasn't happy. You could see the guys from the circus who probably look after her running around."
"It was really intense."