Two elephants involved in a crushing incident which left a circus worker badly injured have tested positive for drugs. According to IrishExaminer.com, the Courtney Brothers Circus ordered lab tests of the animals after the incident. The tests revealed traces of opiates in their system.
Veterinary records prove that neither animal received medication in the weeks leading up to the incident. Circus boss Wayne Courtney claims that independent tests done by Veterinary Lab Services Ireland Ltd, proved the elephant's food was tampered with from an outside source.
A circus worker was crushed when an elephant fell on him after being charged by another elephant. He was left in critical condition, but has since improved. The incident came days after one of the elephants broke free from her pen and charged through a busy retail park. The elephant's handler insisted the this behavior was out of character, and she expressed fears that their food may have been tampered with.
Both elephants tested positive for opiates, and the tests indicated the presence of codeine and morphine. The lab believes the presence of morphine is a result of metabolized codeine. The amount of opiates was unclear in the tests.
Although the circus boss was shocked by the results, the handler is delighted to have some explanation for the bizarre behavior. Since the test results, the Courtney Brothers Circus no longer allows the public to feed the animals.