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Franklin Zoo (Closed) Elephant Kills Woman at Franklin Zoo

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by zooboy28, 25 Apr 2012.

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  1. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Well-Known Member

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    Breaking news: Woman killed by elephant - national | Stuff.co.nz

    Very sad news. Franklin Zoo have one female, ex-circus African Elephant, Mila. TV news reports say she crushed a female keeper in her pen.
     
  2. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I thought she was protected contact
     
  3. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Well-Known Member

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    According to Franklin Zoos website she is...
     
  4. felix

    felix Well-Known Member

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    sad day
    should never have happened:(
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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    I just saw this on the news. Very sad. Apparently the elephant was agitated or scared by something, the keeper went in to calm her, and the elephant wrapped her trunk around the keeper and crushed her. She (the keeper) died later and the body is still currently at the zoo.
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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    Vet crushed to death by elephant - National - NZ Herald News
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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    Woman killed by elephant - national | Stuff.co.nz
     
  8. Jabiru96

    Jabiru96 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder of this will delay Mila's export to a US elephant sanctuary?
     
  9. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Well-Known Member

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    Possibly, although it may also affect the rules around elephant management in NZ, which could be problematic for Auckland Zoo's Burma.
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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    from the first reports (calling the woman both a vet and a keeper) it was obvious who was killed but it has now been confirmed as being the zoo's owner-director Helen Schofield. As a private zoo, I wonder what this will mean for it's future.

    Tributes flow for zookeeper killed by elephant - Story - NZ News - 3 News
     
  12. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Well-Known Member

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    Another news article about Helen Schofield's death, which is a very sad loss.

    Nervous elephant crushes zoo carer - national | Stuff.co.nz

     
  13. zankara

    zankara Member

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    I was at Franklin zoo a couple months ago and Helen seemed so passionate about Mila's recovery. So sad it had to end this way :(
     
  14. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Sounds political. Wouldn't it have been better to have a previous handler, with experience with that elephant, there to see if they could help.
     
  15. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I was shocked to discover he wasnt involved in the transition to her new home. his comments about being the only African elephant handler in Australasia are complete rubbish.
     
  16. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but the other keeping staff of Franklin Zoo would have been there too, so re-introducing an old keeper may have been a bit confusing for her. But yes, I would imagine there are some differences in opinion between her old circus trainer and her new keepers.
     
  17. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    This article has an interesting comment from an elephant keeper that worked with Mila when she first arrived.

    Ex-owner: 'Ignorance' killed keeper

    this is very sad. Dr Schofield was an amazing Lady.
     
  18. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I was going to say the same thing. It may have agitated her more.
     
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

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    Zoo to remain closed while death probed | NATIONAL News
    I never understand the reasoning behind statements such as "elephants never do anything by accident" (by Peter Stroud in the above article). The same thing was said when the killer whale killed its trainer in the USA a while back. Apparently these animals are too intelligent to make mistakes? It is generally accepted that humans are more intelligent than elephants and cetaceans, so why do humans make so many mistakes then?
     
  20. Cadders

    Cadders Well-Known Member

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    I was the person to whom the elephant was signed over by the circus. I spent a week with her at a secret location near Helensville. I have never met an animal with such undertones of violence than Mila. She would entice anyone she could to get nearer and nearer the safety bars and at the last moment would lash out at their heads with her trunk, crashing into the bars like a sledgehammer. Naturally we had sufficient safeguards in place to stop anyone from getting seriously injured.
    I think Peter Stroud is absolutely right. He had put in a protected contact protocol and all the infrastructure was there to ensure that it worked. I too do not understand how the elephant was able to get hold of Helen had the protocols been followed.
    Peter is an extremely experienced zoo professional and I wholly concur with his view. It is a tragedy, that's for sure, but it is possible to manage animals such as this without serious injury or death. If that were not the case then of course a euth decision on Mila would be a serious possibility.
    This reminds me somewhat of Busch at Zion: He believes himself to be the daddy of his fur babies (apex predators) and because he 'loves' them so much, they will 'love' him back. He's next I believe.
     
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