Escaped Elephants.
July 12, 2007 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Listen to the Newmarket Police try to deal with "Outstanding Elephants". Elephants from the circus escape. They wander through Newmarket, Ontario, munching on people's landscaping. Some people out for a late night walk happen upon them and (mp3) call into the York regional police to report the errant elephants. Then the police (mp3) deal with getting them back to their home. "Police said no one was hurt, no property was damaged and that the two well-behaved animals spent their free time snacking on plants and trees as they wandered the quiet downtown streets." Sounds like a good way to spend a summer evening to me!
posted by Salmonberry (39 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
You KNOW some indigent (I have been one so I can talk) saw the elephants walking through the late night city and thought "ok, time to re-assess my fondness for the ginebra".
posted by telstar at 6:46 PM on July 12, 2007

This is great...
It isn't often that something posted on Meta makes me roll on the floor, but this did it..

How, in heaven's name, can these dispatchers sound so steady when they are talking about elephants "north bound"...

heh...thanks! this was great stufff.
posted by HuronBob at 6:55 PM on July 12, 2007

This is the awesomest.
posted by serazin at 7:09 PM on July 12, 2007

posted by trip and a half at 7:13 PM on July 12, 2007

I bet if the elephants had charged those Canadian hosers, they would have pumped 'em full of timbits.
posted by disgruntled at 7:16 PM on July 12, 2007

posted by eddydamascene at 7:19 PM on July 12, 2007

When I lived in Bangkok I'd see elephants walking down the sidewalk in the city almost every day. And in the nine years I was there, I never got used to it.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:21 PM on July 12, 2007

Somehow I expect that if elephants were on the loose here, they'd be shot. Maybe that's because the police in this city have shot unarmed latinos four times in the last year. I doubt they'd have more regard for an elephant, but maybe I'm just being optimistic.

Or what item said.

Also, if I wandered around downtown munching on plants, I'd be arrested or committed, depending on which city I found myself in at the time. Lucky elephants.
posted by wierdo at 7:27 PM on July 12, 2007

Brilliant! Is this the work of the Twelve Moneys?
posted by McLir at 7:30 PM on July 12, 2007 [3 favorites]

I still remember watching TV coverage of Tyke, an elephant who escaped from a circus performance and was gunned down in the streets of Honolulu in '94. Very sad, although understandable, since she mauled her trainer before breaking loose.
posted by flod at 7:35 PM on July 12, 2007

I love how blase everyone is about it on the CB, no one swearing, no one laughing, it's so professional. I'd like to hear this call in the States.
posted by lonemantis at 7:36 PM on July 12, 2007

MetaFilter: We've got one outstanding elephant.
posted by The Bellman at 7:37 PM on July 12, 2007

This item made me realize how totally wrong War of the Worlds got the arrival of flying saucers from Mars:

"Yah, they're floatin' along shootin' death rays."
"What street are you on?"
"North Bedford, near Springfield."
"And what direction are the saucers travelling?"
"North on Bedford, mostly. Some are drifting off East."
"And how many are there?"
"I can see three now. I think there are some more on Tanawa Street. I see some lights there."
"47 here. We count two here on Tanawa. They are moving slowly north.
(pause) One has crashed to the ground and has stopped moving."
posted by hexatron at 7:43 PM on July 12, 2007

It's really nice to hear that there was a happy ending to this story, because so many times with elephants getting loose, it's pretty gruesome.
posted by mullingitover at 7:54 PM on July 12, 2007

I am originally from Newmarket and my family still lives there. I was going to call them today, but then I got to wondering exactly how sick and tired they must be of hearing about the elephants already.

Ah, what the hell...

*beep boop boop beep*
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:08 PM on July 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I had this exact same dream one time.
posted by longsleeves at 8:41 PM on July 12, 2007

Ring master steps out and says "the elephants left town"
People jump and jive, but the clowns have stuck around
TV news and camera, there's choppers in the sky
Marines, police, reporters ask where, for and why
Pele yells, "We're outta here," Zina says, "Right on"
We're making moves and starting grooves before they knew we were gone
Jumped into the Chevy and headed for big lights
Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights...

How bizarre
How bizarre, how bizarre
posted by daninnj at 8:41 PM on July 12, 2007

I couldn't quite figure out at what point in the first link it became clear to the dispatcher that this was not a prank. I'm pretty sure that if you'd made that call in the States, the dispatcher would have hung up on you immediately.
posted by craichead at 9:21 PM on July 12, 2007

I love how blase everyone is about it on the CB, no one swearing, no one laughing, it's so professional. I'd like to hear this call in the States.

Nor anywhere else in Canada, I think. As much as I go after Ontarionians (Vancouverite, I have to) I have always found them to be a very calm, common sense group of people. If there's people anywhere who will act blase about elephants eating their shrubs, it'll be the people of southern Ontario.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:46 PM on July 12, 2007

*tempted to beam with pride, but thinks better of it*
posted by stinkycheese at 9:52 PM on July 12, 2007

That 911 caller was driving me nuts by peppering his sentences with "like". "There's like an elephant like just walking down the street..." One of my pet peeves.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:30 PM on July 12, 2007

"...and it's just eating somebody's tree."

I've got a cousin on that particular police force -- I wonder what he's got to say about it.

In any case, I'm glad that was Canada. These poor old ladies were just out for a walk. I wouldn't have wanted them killed by some idiot homeowner out protecting his lawn with a big gun and a little brain.
posted by pracowity at 12:26 AM on July 13, 2007

Loved the Canadian "Oot" - "ootstanding"
posted by A189Nut at 1:31 AM on July 13, 2007

pracowity, contrary to popular belief, most Americans don't have guns capable of taking down big game, nor do we generally bust them out because some animal is peeing on our bush. Yeesh.

Even a .45 would probably only annoy the elephant, unless perhaps you shot it in the eye.

The police, on the other hand, now carry very large guns in most jurisdictions. In many places they've long carried shotguns, but now they're loading them up with high powered rifles, among other things. At least they're still leaving the automatic weapons to the SWAT teams.
posted by wierdo at 8:50 AM on July 13, 2007

elephant phone call + diplo
posted by localhuman at 9:33 AM on July 13, 2007

now they're loading them up with high powered rifles

They are? I thought they mostly had stuff that shot NATO 5.56, except for snipers. I'm sure you could eventually bring an elephant down with that, or with 5.45, rounds, but still.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:32 AM on July 13, 2007

I very much doubt that anything the average American squad car would be carrying would be capable of stopping an elephant. The duty 9mm, the shotgun, and (maybe) a 5.56 carbine in the trunk would probably take ages.

Thank god the elephants here didn't have to find out if I was right. Like mentioned above, these things often end badly.

Personally, I would treat it as a rare privilege to see a couple of elephants casually wandering down the street eating trees. But then, I love the 'phelephants so.
posted by quin at 11:17 AM on July 13, 2007

There's one jurisdiction around here that gives some patrol officers AR-15s. Not that that would stop an elephant, mind you, but it's starting to get ridiculous. They first went crazy after that bank robbery and shootout in California where the guys were wearing body armor, and went further insane after 9/11.

I guess high powered is relative, since 10 or 15 years ago only SWAT had anything more powerful than a decent shotgun. Most officers didn't have an arsenal in the trunk, only some oil, transmission fluid (which makes a good starter fluid on a cold night, FWIW!), a spare tire, and perhaps a helmet and vest, at least not here in the middle of the country.

I agree that it would be a treat to see elephants wandering down the street.
posted by wierdo at 11:38 AM on July 13, 2007

I'm certain the elephants wandered past houses containing guns capable of hurting them, prehaps killing them. Lots of people hunt deer in Ontario, and bear hunting isn't uncommon. Not many handgunds in Canada, but at least as many long guns as anywhere in the US.
posted by bonehead at 11:42 AM on July 13, 2007

I don't know specifically what the York Regional cops carry, but a handgun on each officer with a shotgun in the car is typical for most patrols in Ontario.
posted by bonehead at 11:45 AM on July 13, 2007

contrary to popular belief, most Americans don't have guns capable of taking down big game, nor do we generally bust them out because some animal is peeing on our bush.

Maybe not everyone, but it doesn't have to be everyone. In a town of several thousand or more, there's a good chance that at least one gun nut is going to have a basement full of stupidly big guns and be dying to use them, hoping maybe he'll be seen as the hero who saved everyone from the rampaging wild animals.
posted by pracowity at 12:02 PM on July 13, 2007

pracowity: Luckily, in my area, the people who have a bunch of big guns are the sane ones who wouldn't think about breaking them out for a wandering elephant. Maybe that's because cows semi-regularly wander through town.

I'm speculating, but I'd guess that the people who have lots of guns (especially big ones that may be subject to NFA regulation) are a lot brighter about guns than the fellow with a single handgun, shotgun, or small rifle in the closet or wherever.
posted by wierdo at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2007

"How big is it?"

posted by fshgrl at 5:39 PM on July 13, 2007

Police officer: "What's the street?"

Person reporting the elephant: "Alex Stoner"

If I'd heard anything stoner, I wouldn't have taken the report seriously. Pretty impressive how cool and respectful that officer/personal taking the emergency call was.

Cute story. Elephants rock.

In looking for a little video to add I came across this one of a mahout on elephant's back, being stalked by a tiger. Pretty awesome.
posted by nickyskye at 7:06 PM on July 13, 2007

you so linked to the wrong video on that one. Its a video of a rhino being raped by an elephant.

Excuse me while I wash out my eyes, thanks.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:17 PM on July 13, 2007

It's really nice to hear that there was a happy ending to this story...

The RCMP gave it a happy ending? How... nice?... of them.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:19 PM on July 13, 2007

Whoa, bad nicky, no cookie.

What I loved about the call is how most everyone would pause just before saying "elephant," as if they were doubting the person on the other end of the line would believe them. Even after it had been clearly determined that the elephants were real.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:23 PM on July 13, 2007

Video of the elephants.
posted by homunculus at 1:06 AM on July 14, 2007

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