Internet sensation Baby the elephant was heavily drugged the day she went on a rampage in Cork.
The circus animal failed a drugs test undertaken by her owners after the Leeside incident.
Courtneys circus bosses were stunned when Baby went walkabout in Cork then crushed one of her handlers.
Vets have now confirmed that Baby had ‘paracetamol and morphine’ in her system.
They believe the elephant was ‘high’ when she made a dash for freedom and later injured Spaniard Justino ‘Cristiano’ Munez.
The Irish Sun reports that Baby had been pushed by another elephant and toppled over hitting Justino, 42, a friend of handler Joey Gartner.
Munez was seriously injured and suffered crushed ribs as well as a punctured lung but has made a full recovery and is back at work.
Circus operator Wayne Courtney said at the time: “Joey has insisted that we have the two elephants tested because he fears something is not right with them.”
Courtney has now said he is shocked by the results which show that both elephants had paracetamol and morphine in their systems.
“We will now be furnishing the full reports to the police,” said Courtney. “The animals were not receiving any medication and had to have been fed the drugs by an outside party.
“We always had a policy of allowing the public access to the elephants and parents brought their children along to feed them but after this we have decided that no one will be allowed near them in future.”
Here’s the RTE report on the elephant’s escape:
Here’s the Irish Examiner’s raw footage of the circus worker receiving medical attention having been trampled by the same elephant: