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Nellie the elephant on the loose in Suffolk

nellie the elephant
Packed her trunk: Nellie the elephant on her Suffolk farm

An elephant called Nellie is on the run after escaping from her private enclosure on a Suffolk farm.

She has been roaming free in the countryside for two days, and police are urging the public to be vigilant.

Nothing has been seen of the 34-year-old female elephant since she escaped from her home near the Lakenheath US airbase on Monday.

Police spokeswoman Lorraine Fisher, 34, said: “Elephants are quite large and you’d have thought Nellie the elephant would have been spotted by now.

“It’s quite possible she has been grazing contentedly and wandered into nearby Thetford Forest, where it would be difficult to spot her.

“But we and the US military have concerns she may get on the runway at Lakenheath, or drop by the local primary school.”

Potato farmer Maurice Piper is a well-known keeper of animals at his farm near Lakenheath north-west Suffolk.

He told the Suffolk Gazette: “We went to give Nellie her morning feed and water on Tuesday morning and she was gone. She has a two-acre site in which to roam, but we saw one the fences was broken. She must have wandered through.

“The public should not be alarmed if they come across a fully-grown elephant. She won’t cause any harm unless you happen to be driving along when she crosses the A134. An elephant won’t use a zebra crossing.”

Nellie the elephant

Mr Piper, who also keeps a tiger and three monkeys, said he had looked after Nellie for 15 years, ever since she packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus.

“It’s a bit embarrassing that she has got out,” he added.

Police have sent search teams and used the Suffolk police helicopter to look for Nellie the Elephant, but so far without luck.

Ms Fisher, based at Martlesham police headquarters, concluded: “There is a terrible old joke that says elephants paint their toenails yellow so they can hide upside-down in custard.

“However, there is no evidence to suggest that Nellie is hiding in a giant pot of custard. It’s far more likely she’s happily foraging in Thetford Forest.”

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