Zookeeper dies after elephant sits on her

2012-04-25 14:04
Wellington - A New Zealand zookeeper was crushed to death on Wednesday when an elephant sat on her, emergency officials and media reports said.

Police confirmed they were called to an incident involving an elephant and its keeper late in the afternoon at Franklin Zoo, near Auckland, but said no further information would be released until the woman's family were informed.

Television Three news said the woman died when the elephant sat on her.

A fire service spokesperson said when they arrived at the zoo "the elephant had been secured and paramedics were working with the patient" who had since died.

In an article posted on the zoo website in 2010, sanctuary director and veterinary surgeon Helen Schofield said Jumbo had settled in well and developed close and affectionate relationships with her team of keepers.

"She is responding well by presenting feet for care, all parts of her body for washing, rub downs and other health care procedures," Schofield said.

"Our dream for Jumbo is to get her in a situation where she can have other African elephants for company."

"It is a tremendous privilege to take care of Jumbo. I feel personally humbled and flattered by the big ear flapping purrs she gives me as a greeting when I return to see her from other activities in the sanctuary. She is so affectionate and responsive."

The zoo negotiated the release of the 40-year-old elephant in 2009 from a circus where it had lived in shackles for 30 years.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  animals

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