Organisers of Pontycymer Weightwatchers group had held a motivational sponsored walk in the Garw Valley where the club’s 82 members had to walk a tropical petting zoo five miles.
But witnesses say members of the group, who were walking the animals on leashes, became distracted by the smell of a Greggs bakery all the way over in Treocrchy, allowing the five giant mammals to escape.
Reports the hungry slimmers have eaten the animals are unconfirmed.
With the animals still apparently on the loose, portly would-be Weightwatchers have spoken about the stress they are under to ensure the rhino and four young elephants are returned safely.
The group’s biggest ‘loser’ Pam Chunk said: “My doctor is concerned because my blood pressure is high and I can’t sleep very well.
“I’m aching so much as every day I have to go out walking looking for these bloody zoo creatures.
“I’m so nervous, so much so that I hate going anywhere because I have to know where toilet is. I’m quite literally shitting myself incase we can’t find them.”
A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “Quite simply, the group should have spent more time watching these dangerous beasts rather than ‘watching their weight’.”