An Oklahoma veterinarian got a big (really big) surprise when he was asked to treat the wounds of an elephant that was hit by an SUV after escaping from a nearby circus.
Bill Carpenter and his wife were driving home from church late on Wednesday when the driver swerved all too late and wound up sideswiping a 29-year-old female elephant in Enid, Oklahoma, the Associated Press reports.
"I didn’t have time to hit the brakes. The elephant blended in with the road," Carpenter explained to the news provider. "At the very last second I said ‘elephant!’"
Thankfully, the couple was not injured, but the 8-foot-tall, 4,500-pound elephant was brought veterinarian Dr Dwight Olson on Thursday to be treated for a broken tusk and leg wound. The animal’s tusk punctured the side of the vehicle, tearing through the sheet metal.
I don’t believe there’s a broken bone," said Olson, "but I don’t have an X-ray room big enough to examine it."
The elephant was identified by the Family Fun Circus, which performed at the Garfield County Fraigrounds earlier that day.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average veterinary expenditure for pet care on cats or dogs in 2006 was $366; the organization does not keep statistics on pet elephants.