Elephant Loose in St. Petersburg

Status: Hoax
Ananova reports that an elephant is on the loose in St. Petersburg:

The animal, which was being transported through Russia by an unnamed Finnish company, escaped from its container by smashing through its walls. There have been a number of sightings around the city but no one has tried to catch the elephant yet.

But it appears that Ananova has done its usual thorough job of fact-checking, because the Moscow Times reports that the elephant was probably a hoax:

St. Petersburg police were looking for a mystery phone caller on Thursday after spending much of the night looking for an elephant. A man called the emergency services early Thursday on a cell phone and said an elephant he was transporting for a Finn had vanished, RIA-Novosti reported... Police turned up to investigate, but they could find no sign of the man or trailer, let alone the elephant, an animal that can grow up to 4 meters high and weigh up to 10 tons... Interfax reported that the man had called and said he had caught the elephant himself near 16 Ulitsa Obreli, the street in the city named after a famous Russian biologist. One witness was even reported as saying that he had seen an elephant heading down a street with a man running after it. Police eventually came to the conclusion that the call was a hoax.

Reminds me of the Central Park Zoo Escape of 1874.

Animals Journalism

Posted on Sun Dec 18, 2005


I don't think I've EVER seen a story on Ananova's "weird news" section (or whatever they call it) that smelled right to me. They ALL seem to be bogus.

Remember when they were going to be the next hot thing? Didn't they have a "virtual newsreader" thingie that was supposed to be the shiznit?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Dec 19, 2005  at  01:44 AM
Hey, don't forget the story about that rhino who escaed the London Zoo a few years back, around '96 or something. They day it ate people, though there was no evidence the rhino even existed.

What does you say?
Posted by Yaanu  on  Mon Dec 19, 2005  at  11:14 AM
Cranky Media Guy - I heard something about that too, never saw any evidence of it though. Weird....
Posted by Owen  on  Mon Dec 19, 2005  at  11:48 AM
I actually saw the Ananova "virtual newsreader" thing a few years back. It was an animated avatar and was nothing to get all that excited about. It was moderately amusing...for about fifteen seconds. If that's what they thought was going to make them a big thing, that's just sad.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Dec 19, 2005  at  02:24 PM
Hoax. Some zoos in Finland have elephants, but othervise elephants are banned. For example circuses are forbidden to do shows with elephants (prevention of cruelty for animals -matters). So what would any Finn do with elephant? And why from St. Petersburg - ok, it's near, but I think there are easier ways to transport elephant to Finland than via Russia...
Posted by Asmo Koste  in  Helsinki, Finland  on  Sun Mar 12, 2006  at  04:14 AM
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