Police bodycam footage has captured officers in Indiana pulling zebras and other circus animals out of a semi-truck that caught on fire along the side of Interstate-69.
The bizarre scene happened around 2 a.m. Saturday along a stretch of the highway in Grant County, between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says one of its troopers was patrolling the area when they “observed that the cab of a 2012 Volvo semi-truck and trailer was engulfed in flames.”
“Trooper Edward Titus, Deputy Joshua Kennedy, and a member of the Shrine Circus rescued five zebras, four camels, and a miniature horse,” it said in a statement, noting that the 57-year-old driver from Florida had safely exited the vehicle. “Additional officers on the scene were able to secure all the animals until other trucks from the Shrine Circus arrived.”
Video taken from the bodycam of a sergeant that showed up on-scene begins by showing numerous zebras and a camel standing near the shoulder of I-69.
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As the officer approaches the burning truck, a commotion can be heard as another officer is trying to pull a zebra out from inside.
“Come on boy!” a voice yells before the zebra leaps off the truck and down a ramp.
Another zebra is then pulled out from the back of the truck.
“Come on, let’s go, come on!” a voice says. “Everybody get back.”
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The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says the fire ultimately was extinguished and the “preliminary crash investigation by Trooper James Wilkison revealed that an equipment failure was the cause of the fire.”
Titus and Kennedy were treated and released at a local hospital for smoke inhalation, while the driver of the truck and all the animals were unharmed, the sheriff’s office added.
The animals were blocked from roaming about the highway with makeshift barricades. All northbound lanes of I-69 were shut down until around 6:30 a.m. local time.
The animals were being brought from Florida to perform at a series of shows in Fort Wayne, according to the Associated Press. A second truck later arrived to pick up the animals.
Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the rescue.
“Deputy Kennedy, Trooper Titus, Sergeant Meeks, the Driver, and others risked their lives to save these animals,” the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said. “We are proud of all those who participated in this event.”
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