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Elephants Escape Circus, Trample Cars in Parking Lot [VIDEO]

Mar 24, 2014 01:45 PM EDT

Several cars were damaged near St. Louis over the weekend after three elephants escaped from a circus and trampled through a parking lot.

Nobody was injured in the incident and the elephants were corralled back into their holding area in less than an hour, according to news reports.

The elephants belong to St. Louis's Moolah Shrine Circus, which was hosting a show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. on Saturday afternoon when the elephants, apparently spooked by loud noises, escaped the circus.

Eyewitness Karyn Tunnicliff, who was in a car outside area with her daughter when the elephants escaped, told local news station KSDK-TV that there was a sizable effort to corral the escaped elephants.

"We saw all these people running after them, and they were all screaming 'stop, stop,' and several of the circus people were trying to run alongside them," Tunnicliff said.

Tunnicliff's daughter Allie said the elephant handlers needed treats to lure the elephants back to safety.

"She yelled to one guy, 'I need anything, just pretzels, any kind of food,' " Tunnicliff said.

The elephants were successfully corralled by animal handlers and are "now resting comfortably in their compound" the Shrine Circus said in a statement reported by KSDK-TV.

The parking lot where the elephants escaped to is privately owned and not accessible to the public, Dennis Burkholder, spokesman for the circus, told CNN. The damaged vehicles belongs to employees of the circus and the elephants did not sustain any significant injuries from the ordeal.

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