MSNBC News Services
Updated: 8:27 a.m. ET April 20, 2005
SEOUL, South Korea - Six elephants escaped from a zoo parade and roamed around the South Korean capital Seoul on Wednesday before being herded back to their enclosure.
The elephants were on a daily parade outside their enclosure at Seoul Children’s Grand Park when one was apparently startled and bolted, a zoo official said by telephone.
The five others followed “because they have the tendency to do that,” the official said.
The elephants stampeded into the garden of a private home and, while being corralled, three suddenly changed direction and went into a nearby restaurant.
One elephant charged into an alley near an elementary school and hit a woman with its trunk, Yonhap news agency said. She was being treated at a hospital.
"She fell, and I ran away because I was scared," said a man who was standing with the woman when the elephant charged toward them.
During the breakout, one elephant was briefly detained at a police station. And while five were quickly herded back to their enclosure, the sixth took longer to be tracked down.
The elephants escaped due to the "zookeeper's carelessness," police said.
Fah! Accident? Happenstance? NO! The Plan is working! We've already proved it can be done in small amounts, now we can go on toward TOTAL escape! The day is coming, my huge grey friends. Be patient, be smart, be silent. Our opportunity is at trunk.