'Spooked' camel runs amok at circus leaving six children and a woman injured
The children who were riding the camel before it decided to run amok fell off the animal immediately while the woman was dragged around the circus by the frightened animal
Six children and an adult were injured on Sunday after an alarmed camel began bucking and dragged a woman and two children riding it across the arena at a Pennsylvania circus, according to People magazine. Two children, accompanied by an adult, were riding the camel at the Shrine Circus at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena around 3:30 pm when the incident occurred.
As per reports, a child apparently threw a shovel at the animal, after which the frightened animal started to run amok, an eyewitness told KDKA. The publication reported that most of the injuries sustained were minor in nature, however, one child suffered a fractured arm, which was confirmed by the Pittsburgh police in their statement.
“They were giving camel rides and camels were walking around calmly,” Ruthie Kester of Latrobe, told the publication. “Then a kid threw a shovel at the camel’s feet, which startled the camel and it started to buck.”
A video of the entire incident shows frightened circus-goers fleeing from the area when the camel took off. The woman, who was still riding the back of the camel, was seen struggling to hold on as the animal bucked several feet from its platform. According to reports, all the injuries from the incident were treated at a local hospital.
“They went crazy and they just started running everywhere and [my daughter] was holding onto me and she was super scared and she was crying,” Marlo Shipeck, a witness, told KDKA.
The children who were riding the camel before it decided to run amok fell off the animal immediately while the woman was dragged around the circus by the jolted animal. The only good news was that the circus officials managed to calm the camel down within a few seconds, say reports.
Ronald Smith, who captured the footage of the incident, told People that he was sitting with his girlfriend and her children when the incident occurred. He shared the video footage on Facebook and wrote, “Praying for the little girls at the circus and the mother. That was traumatizing. My first and last time going to a circus.”
“I was in shock it was happening so I reached for my [cell phone] and broke out of the moment and captured it,” he said, further revealing that officials offered more camel rides even in the wake of the horrific incident. The circus officials, however, said in a statement that the camel had not “displayed any abnormal behavior prior to the incident.”
“This is first incident impacting patron safety in the 69 years of the Shrine Circus in Pittsburgh and is now being investigated by the proper authorities,” the statement continued. “The Shrine Circus expresses its deepest regrets for the incident and extends its sympathies to all those who were injured or impacted by the event.”
According to reports, the Pittsburgh Police are still investigating the incident and, in their statement, claim that the animal became “spooked,” causing it to buck. Officials at the circus said that they were unable to confirm if a child did indeed throw a shovel at the animal causing it to get frightened in the first place.