Christer Johansson, who came across the giant beasts in the Slottsskogen parkland area in south west Gothenburg, told the Aftonbladet newspaper how the elephants were on the loose and making a light lunch out of the surrounding vegetation.
“First, the staff of the circus had the elephants within the fences, but suddenly the gates were open and they walked out,” he told the paper.
“Now they’re free in the woods.”
Meanwhile, Swedish animal expert Jonas Wahlström of the Skansen Open Air museum in Stockholm predicts that the event is a cunning publicity stunt, but claims that the public needn’t fear the tame elephants if they happen to cross paths.
“It’s clear that this is a PR stunt. The elephants have certainly had a push in the backside as they escaped,” he told Aftonbladet.
“Circus elephants are very tame and have been trained to do exactly what you want. If elephants panic, they can obviously run people down, but it would surprise me if this happened with circus elephants.”
Meanwhile, local police have still not received any information from the public about the incident.
The elephants were captured and returned to captivity around 4:30pm, according to Aftonbladet.