Swedish Council Bans Elephants From Town Centre

Elephants perform during a circus rehearsal
Elephants perform during a circus rehearsal. The animals are no longer allowed on the streets of Kalmar. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A town in Sweden has banned elephants and other circus animals from parading through its town centre streets, according to regional newspaper Östra Småland.

The paper reports that the council of Kalmar yesterday passed a by-law setting out stricter rules for visiting circuses to follow after a number of incidents in previous years.

These include a circus stallion escaping and attempting to mate with two local mares, and an elephant latrine being dumped in a local pond, causing friction between the locals and circus staff.  

The chairman of the Kalmar council's service committee, Ingemar Einarsson, told the paper:

“There have been some cultural clashes between the circus world and the municipal world. We're now putting the rules in writing so that everyone will know what's what.”

The new by-law also makes provisions for the circus’ use of electricity, how it handles animal waste, and where and how circus tents can be set up.

Einarsson told Östra Småland: “We want to meet all circuses in a positive way and help according to the best of our ability.”

Swedish news website Metro also reports that locals have been frightened by the imposing elephants parading down their streets.

English language Swedish news website The Local reported two incidents in 2013 involving circus animals. One in nearby Värnamo, in which Indian elephants escaped from a visiting circus that had pitched and were found by a family in their garden, and the other in Hässleholm - also in southern Sweden - in which a “flock” of escaped camels blocked traffic and ended up in a carpark.