The shock encounter happened after the driver rounded a bend on route 46 between Ulricehamn and Timmele. Speaking to local radio station P4 Sjuhärad he described what first went through his mind as he slammed on the brakes and saw five animals looming ahead:
“There were these weird elk, they had no horns, and they had a hump,” the driver remembered thinking.
His vehicle struck a single-humped camel in the face in a part of Sweden that is famously wet, and about as far from the desert as you can get.
“He was shocked of course,” police spokesman Christer Fuxborg told the TT newswire. “You don’t expect to find a dromedary on the road.”
It turned out that the animals – two bactrian (or two-humped) camels and three dromedaries – belonged to a travelling circus and had strayed from the entourage’s encampment.
The injured animal bled from its mouth after the crash but is expected to survive the traumatic experience.
Staff from Circus Maximus rounded up the animals after the collision and brought them back to the camp.
A worker said all the camels would probably get the night off when the circus opens in Ulricehamn later on Tuesday.