Circus World did not immediately respond to The Dodo's request for comment, but the facility's executive director, Scott O'Donnell, did explain to the Wisconsin State Journal:
The elephant, Kelly, escaped with the help of an accomplice: Isla, another 40-ish female elephant, undid the latch that locked the door to the barn, O'Donnell said.
"An elephant has about 100,000 muscles in its trunk, so they can get really good at playing around and picking at things," he said.
Sadly, despite the elephant's seemingly deliberate and coordinated escape, what Kelly found in the world beyond the barn was still a far cry from her natural habitat. But though she is once again in captivity, there's still hope that she, and other elephants like her still in circuses, can experience real and lasting freedom.