Three elephants escaped from a circus near St. Louis, wandering through a parking lot and damaging several vehicles.The female elephants escaped from an outdoor enclosure prior to the Moolah Shrine Circus at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

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The circus said the elephants were scared by loud noises. One woman had just arrived with her teenage sons when she stepped out of her car and felt the ground shaking.

"We saw car parts just being thrown up in the air, the windows were being smashed," Sally Schmiz said, adding that vehicles as big as pickup trucks were being pushed out of the way by the frightened elephants.

She quickly put the car into reverse, but couldn’t go very far because she was surrounded by other parked vehicles.

Schmiz said it took about 40 minutes for the trainers and handlers to get the elephants under control. They were able to lure the elephants out of the parking lot with - you guessed it - peanuts.

Watch the full report above from Fox affiliate KTVI.

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