Camels, zebras and a miniature horse had to be rescued from a US highway on Saturday morning after a trailer taking the animals for a weekend circus performance caught fire.
After officers saved them from the burning vehicle, the animals roamed along the high-speed road in Indiana, with some eating nearby grass.
The truck was bringing the animals from Florida to Fort Wayne for four weekend circus performances in aid of the Mizpah Shrine Circus, Steve Trump, the circus director, said.
Mr Trump said the truck’s crew stopped the vehicle along the highway to check a problem with the vehicle and discovered a fire that quickly spread, threatening the animals in its trailer until they were rescued.
One video shows some of the zebras munching on grass in a surreal scene several miles east of the city of Marion, about 60 miles north-east of Indianapolis.
“It’s not something we see every day,” said Deputy Brent Ressett with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
Both officers involved in the rescue were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation and later released, but none of the animals were injured, Mr Ressett said. The truck driver, a 57-year-old man from Sarasota, Florida, was also not injured.
All northbound lanes of I-69 were closed until about 6:30 am while the area was cleaned up and the animals were taken away by another truck.
He said the performances are annual fundraisers to help pay for the upkeep of the Shrine Center in Fort Wayne to “allow us to use our other fundraisers for what we’re known best for, taking care of kids”.
The fire destroyed the truck and a second truck was sent from Fort Wayne to pick up the animals from the highway and bring them to Fort Wayne’s Memorial Coliseum to await their roles in the weekend’s circus performances, he added.