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Florida beach goers surprised by elephant wading in the ocean

Who would expect to see an elephant wading on a southwest Florida beach in the Gulf of Mexico? Better yet, who would believe you if you told your friends about a pachyderm casually splashing around the surf?

Todd Unbehagen with the elephant casually wading in the Gulf of Mexico in the background.
Todd Unbehagen

According to the St. Petersburg Tribune, no one has to worry about sunstroke or thoughts of animals escaping from the local circus; the elephant was an invited guest on Saturday evening to Pinellas County. And his casual walk, with his trunk held high, was captured on videotape by Todd Unbehagen, a weekend visitor to Redington Beach.

The photos and video appeared on Unbehagen's Facebook page, and from there - well there's been an "elephant in the room."

Unbehagen's YouTube video has garnered over 35,000 views, and his smiling "selfie" with the elephant in the background continues to draw a lot of smiles and of course, "elephant humor."

The elephant was an approved guest by the Redington Beach Town Commission for resident Claudia McCorkle's 60th birthday party. The elephant was supposed to be hanging out in the backyard in a "riparian rights deeded area." Leave it to an elephant not to read the survey and wander out for a cool dip in the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Doesn't every tourist insist on taking a dip?

The elephant is owned by Xtreme Entertainment, a reputable company licensed by both the Florida Fish and Wildlife and USDA.

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