A rogue camel escaped from a circus on Monday, leading police on a chase across one of Darwin’s busiest roads and into the golf course of the Royal Australian Air Force base.
Northern Territory police said the camel had taken off from the Circus Royale and ran down Bagot Road – a major arterial and one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.
“It appears the fine men and women of the NT police also have hidden talents in camel wrangling after they quickly tracked it down, secured it and handed it back over to circus personnel,” the NT police said. “And it wasn’t even hump day!”
Superintendent Rob Burgoyne told the ABC the camel had caused “a bit of traffic mayhem” as it ran down Bagot Road. “It then ended up on the RAAF base golf course where circus personnel were able to secure it on the ninth green, obviously didn’t quite make it to the 19th [the clubhouse bar].”
The Circus Royale has been in Darwin’s northern suburbs for the past few weeks. At least two reviews for the show have expressed concern about the treatment of the camels.
The camel joins the ranks of animals making breaks for freedom in cities. In 2014 two water buffalo escaped from a movie set in Newtown, Sydney. Police received a report at the time of the two large animals chasing pedestrians down King Street.
In 2015 two llamas led police on a chase through the streets of Sun City, Arizona.
In January 2016 Hong Kong police with riot shields spent more than three hours trying to catch a wild boar, with the encounter live streamed through Periscope with a hummed Mission Impossible soundtrack.
Monday’s escape was not even the first of its kind for Darwin – in 1986 three lions escaped from a circus on Mindil beach, jumping over a child, chasing their tamer, mauling a camel and gatecrashing a wedding in the botanical gardens.
The Circus Royale has been contacted for comment.
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