UK & World News
Elephant Crushes Keeper In Zoo Attack
A female keeper is in a critical condition after being pinned against a bollard by an elephant at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.
Senior elephant keeper Lucy Melo was crushed by a two-and-a-half-year-old male Asian elephant called Pathi Harn, nicknamed Mr Shuffles.
The incident happened inside the elephant barn.
The animal, born in 2010 at the zoo, was described as a miracle because vets had mistakenly thought he had died inside his mother's womb.
Ms Melo has worked at the complex since 2004 and it has been reported she has looked after the elephant since his birth.
An ambulance spokeswoman said emergency services were called to the elephant enclosure and discovered a woman unconscious and not breathing, with multiple injuries.
"We had a report that a female in her 40s had been injured by an elephant," the spokeswoman said.
"She had critical injuries, multiple injuries. The patient was unconscious and had stopped breathing."
New South Wales ambulance acting Inspector Andrew Wood said: "Once she went into cardiac arrest they worked on her for about five minutes and then her heart, she started breathing again on her own."
Ms Melo was taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital for treatment.
"She has pretty major chest injuries at the moment," Mr Wood added.
A zoo spokesman said Ms Melo was conducting a routine training session when "a young male elephant pinned the female keeper against a bollard".
"Two other keepers in an adjoining stall responded to her call and moved the elephant away.
"An investigation has been immediately commenced into this incident and what may have prompted the reaction.
"It's unknown at this time why the young elephant challenged the keeper."
Zoo director Cameron Kerr said: "It is surprising and we'll be reviewing the situation very carefully to understand what might have caused this."