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Five Stranded Elephants Earn Their Keep Naturally

April 12, 1991

MADISON, Pa. (AP) _ An animal keeper and five elephants who had truck trouble on the way to the circus are leaving a gift that will make sure a mechanic will never forget the visitors he sheltered.

Garage owner Dave Ritenour, who is also a farmer, said his fruit trees will benefit from the manure the elephants leave.

″All together, they produce a couple hundred pounds of manure every day,″ handler Ed South said. ″It’s some of the best fertilizer in the world.″

″Next year, we’ll have peaches this big,″ said Ritneour, displaying his hands as a fisherman would describe his catch.

Ritenour said he expected to have South’s truck fixed sometime Friday.

The elephants, owned by Hawthorne Co. of Chicago, were headed from Harrisburg to a Shriner’s Circus in Detroit when their truck had engine trouble on I-70.

They arrived Monday evening at Dave’s Welding and Heavy Equipment Repair in Madison. There, Ritenour provided water, electricity and space for the elephants.

″It’s just another stop in the road for them,″ South said. ″All they care about is that they’ve got food and water. As long as they’ve got that, they’re pretty contented.″

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