CIRCUS Gottani has hit back at accusations of animal abuse after one of its performing elephants died and two were seriously injured in a road accident in Castilla La Mancha.

Five elephants were being transported in a truck when it overturned on the A-30 highway. The four surviving animals were let loose to roam the highway with ‘bloodied faces’, a surreal sight which lead to massive traffic tailbacks closed the road for two hours.

The accident occurred as the truck tried to overtake a car and tipped over – likely due to the uneven weight distribution and the movement of the elephants, according to Spain’s DGT highway authority. The driver was unharmed.

Animal rights group PACMA accused the circus of abusive treatment but Gottani, has announced it will take legal action against the organisation for false accusations.  

According to the Circus, the animals are domesticated and the progeny of zoo elephants, adding that they have never employed wild animals which is illegal.  

PACMA claims that the elephants are confined to a small plot in Albacete however, they will try to stop the animals being returned to a zoo.

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