Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 13:48 UK

Police report elephants' parade

Elephant
The elephants were from the Sydney Circus

A circus has been reported to Northern Ireland's Parades Commission for leading elephants through a street in Bangor, County Down.

Alexander Scholl from the Sydney Circus said the elephants were being exercised last week when the police arrived and told him to put them back in a trailer.

He said he had never heard of the commission and that the elephants had been welcomed everywhere else.

The PSNI confirmed they had reported the circus to the parades body.

"With all the other towns it wasn't a problem - we would just bring the elephants wherever we went, bring them through the town," said Alexander Scholl, who is from Germany despite the circus's Antipodean origins.

'Illegal'

"But this time in Bangor the police stopped us and told us to put the elephants back in the trailer. The officer said 'you cannot do this - this is an illegal parade'.

"I didn't understand what he meant, we've always been welcome everywhere else, so we put the elephants in the trailer and brought them back to the show."

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on controversial parades during Northern Ireland's marching season.


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