Circus Elephant on the Rampage in Monroe

The Indiana State Sentinel (Indianapolis, IN) April 17, 1845, Page 1

  Speaking of the recent savage performance of the elephant at Baton Rouge, the Advocate of that ilk says:

It is supposed, that the original cause of the elephant’s fury, was a piece of tobacco which had very imprudently been given to him by some of the spectators at the exhibition, on the day previous.  The extraordinary sagacity of an animal like the elephant is not to be tampered with.  And here, we will relate an incident in proof of this well known fact : Some years ago during our sojourn at Monroe, in this State, a menagerie, having an elephant, (probably the identical one spoken of above,) stopped at the town to exhibit for a few days.  One afternoon a young man a clerk in a store, offered the elephant a piece of tobacco, which, taking with his trunk he placed in his mouth, but quickly perceiving the imposition to which he had basely been subjected, he grew vehemently enraged, lashed his trunk furiously about, pierced the air with his neighing, and would follow the young man with his eyes, during the rest of the afternoon.  That night, about twelve o’clock, he broke loose from his station, and, as if guided by some secret knowledge, made directly for the store in a back room of which his tormentor slept ; and tearing up by the roots several large china trees in front of the building, he then battered down door, effected his entrance and rushed into the room where the young man was asleep, giving him barely time enough to escape with his life.  The monstrous midnight invader, after performing sundry works of mischief, left the store and proceeded to the Ouachita river, across which he swam, and after travelling for some miles on the opposite shore, was finally captured by his keeper.

[sic]

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