A stampede involving up to 100 elephants in the Angolan city of Luanda created widespread panic yesterday, with the animals careering through busy shopping streets packed with bargain hunters looking for that 'little something special' in their lunch break - possibly for a loved one - a husband or wife. Possibly even for a lover!
The elephants were African elephants, which seems like an extraordinary coincidence because, not only is that the style of the elephant, it's also the continent on which the incident took place - Africa!
The herd of beasts had strayed away from their normal grazing grounds about five kilometers from the town of Funda. Once they got near the big city, they started to get angrier and angrier, and started to jog, then to run, and finally to sprint (in elephant terms, of course). An earwitness said:
They came stampeding into the town. The sound was incredible - it was like thunder!"
This was the second example of extraordinariness about this tale; the stampeding herd of rogues sounded like thunder, and they'd come from Funda, which sounds a bit like 'thunder'!
Another man, this time an eyewitness, told us:
"It was terrifying! A great trundling mass of elephants coming straight at me. I thought it was the end of the world!"
He looked pensive for a few seconds, then went on:
"Not REALLY the end of the world, but you know what I mean, don't you? It was a terrifying experience, but I think the phrase 'the end of the world' is one that's used, probably far too often, in my opinion, to symbolise something totally frightening, and for which there has been, in that person's lifetime, no precedent."
People at the scene say that there was havoc in the marketplace, and several tables were knocked over, and some of the produce ruined. One of the elephants stopped at a cake stall to eat a bun, and another sucked up some water from a fountain before spraying it all over some children, who laughed joyfully.
Nobody was killed.