Zebras, camels rescued after circus trailer catches fire on Indiana highway

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Scenes from Interstate 69 in Indiana where nearly a dozen circus animals were rescued from a vehicle fire. (Grant County Sheriff's Office)

A circus made an unscheduled appearance along an Indiana interstate early Saturday morning after a semi-truck and trailer transporting nearly a dozen animals caught fire.

Indiana State Police said in a news release, that Trooper Edward Titus happened upon the trailer engulfed in flames on Interstate 69 at mile marker 264.

The 57-year-old driver from Sarasota, Florida made it out of the vehicle. The trooper and a Grant County deputy learned there were animals part of the Shrine Circus inside the trailer. 

Grant County Deputy Joshua Kennedy and Titus went into the trailer in flames and rescued five zebras, four camels and a miniature horse. Both Titus and Kennedy were treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital.

Trooper said the animals were unharmed and officers kept them calm until another truck from the Shrine Circus could collect the animals.

Photos and video shared by the Grant County Sheriff's Office show the black-and-white zebras and camels on the interstate being led to safety by officers. 

"Not only did our first responders rescue them swiftly, but they also went above and beyond to keep the animals calm. True compassion in action!" the Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook

Multiple other agencies, including the Upland and Matthews volunteer fire departments, responded to put out the blaze. 

According to the Shrine Circus website, the circus has a scheduled performance in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Sunday. 

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