Runaway camels cause traffic chaos

A flock of camels escaped from a circus in southern Sweden on Saturday, blocking traffic before wandering off to a nearby parking lot where they took a leisurely stroll around the cars.

Runaway camels cause traffic chaos

Jörgen Sandqvist was among the many drivers heading for the city centre on Saturday afternoon when the road was suddenly blocked by several camels.

But neither the camels not the drivers seemed to have had the hump about it.

“There were at least four or five of them out taking a stroll. They seemed to have all the time in the world and were moving slowly despite all the attention,” Sandqvist told tabloid Expressen.

“I could hardly believe my eyes,” he added.

The camels had managed to get out of their temporary enclosure, which Circus Olympia had set up just next to route 117 on the outskirts of Hässleholm in south Sweden.

“We have electric fences but they still managed to tear down the fence and get out. They just went for a little walk,” circus owner Henrika Bengtsson told the paper.

Long queues quickly formed on the road and soon traffic was at a standstill in both directions, with several drivers trying to get the large and seemingly oblivious animals off the road.

“It was an unbelievable experience,” said Sandqvist.

Circus Olympia had several shows in Hässleholm over the weekend. The camel troupe consists of two two-year-old females and a few older castrated males. They are part of an exotic animals’ dressage act.

“These animals are a bit mischievous,” said Bengtsson.

The five camels who went for a stroll have since returned to the circus.

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Abba duo to collaborate on Pippi Longstocking circus show

The songwriting duo behind the Swedish pop group Abba is collaborating on a new circus show based on Sweden's other great cultural export, Pippi Longstocking.

Abba duo to collaborate on Pippi Longstocking circus show
Abba lyricist Björn Ulvaeus, together with Circus Cirkör Artistic Director Tilde Björfors, (left) and screenwriter Maria Blom (right).
Abba lyricist Björn Ulvaeus and Stockholm contemporary circus company Cirkus Cirkör on Friday announced 'Pippi at the Circus', a show that will combine song, dance and circus performance. 
At a press conference, Ulvaeus said that the show would include many of the most loved characters created by the children's authort Astrid Lindgren, with auditions for the role of Pippi herself expected to take place within weeks.
“Mrs Prysselius (Prussiluskan) will of course play a role and the police officers Kling and Klang of course,” Ulvaeus said, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.  
Ulvaeus said that his old songwriting partner Benny Andersson planned to adapt Cirkus Finemang, an instrumental he wrote for his Benny Andersson Orchestra, and would also contribute some other tunes from his back catalogue.
“There will definitely be some new songs as well,” he promised. 
The show would follow a different plot to Astrid Lindgren's existing circus story, 'Pippi goes to the Circus', Ulvaeus said, with screenwriter Maria Blom hired to write a new script. 
Some of the characters from Lingdren's circus story, such as the strongman Starke Adolf (Strong Adolf) would make an appearance, however. 
Two years ago, Ulvaeus bought the Cirkus Stockholm building and its premises on Djurgården, the Stockholm island housing museums, the Skansen zoo, and the Gröna Lund funfair.  
He said he had developed the Pippi show as a way of using the circus space during the summer, when it has previously been closed.