WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Tornadoes dropped onto the Great Plains on Thursday after forecasters warned of a potentially historic outbreak, causing some damage and spooking a pair of circus elephants in Kansas that escaped their enclosure and roamed a town before being captured.

One of the animals entered a backyard less than a mile from the fairgrounds in WaKeeney and was blocked off by fire trucks until trainers could coax it onto a truck, Trego County Sheriff Richard Schneider said.

"I guess it got tired of walking around," he said.

The second elephant was tranquilized in another backyard, coaxed into a truck and returned to the circus, which was already packing up to head to the next town, Schneider said.

At least four tornadoes touched down in western and central Kansas. Tornadoes were also reported in Nebraska and Missouri, and a funnel cloud was spotted in Colorado.