Fate of elephant not decided
Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:50p.m.
By Elizabeth Puranam
An elephant who accidentally killed a female keeper at Auckland’s Franklin Zoo today is believed to be ex-circus elephant, 39-year-old Mila.
The coroner's office is now investigating the death.
The incident occurred when the woman entered the elephant enclosure at around 4.30 pm today.
For some reason the elephant got a fright and wrapped her trunk around the keeper, crushing her, 3 News understands.
The agitated elephant then blocked attempts to get into the enclosure, apparently in an effort to protect her keeper.
Police say it was a tragic accident.
Mila the elephant was taken in by the zoo after 30 years travelling the country as a circus elephant, then called Jumbo.
When she arrived at the zoo three years ago, the SPCA was concerned about her physical and mental well being, but she had been doing well in recent months.
Tony Ratcliffe who owned Mila during her time in the circus went to Franklin Zoo this evening when he heard about the accident.
But police wouldn't let him in to see the animal.
Mr Ratcliffe claims Mila did not have proper handlers.
In recent months the zoo was preparing to send Mila to a sanctuary in the United States, and as part of that her carers had been training her to become accustomed to spending time in a crate to get her used to it for her long journey.
Police confirm the elephant has not been put down and say they will not be making any further comment until next of kin have been notified.
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1/06/2012 9:57:24 a.m.
Elephants are great. Mila deserve's all the help and care Mila needs this.the sooner Mila is with other elephants the better for Mila
31/05/2012 9:50:15 p.m.
amy walshe wrote:
Hey guys just saying that i'm doing everything that i can to help out with this, i love elephants so much i would hate to see Mila be put down
26/04/2012 6:11:18 a.m.
I knew Helen and the last thing in the world she would have wanted was for Mila to be put down. She loved her so much and was so protective of her. It is a tragic accident but that doesn't mean the elephant (which had a terrible past) should be put down!
26/04/2012 3:34:55 a.m.
Although it is tragic for the poor vet/keeper I sure hope they don't put the elephant down.
It sounds like a pure accident and she probably didn't mean to hurt the keeper.
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