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Elephant Who Killed Keeper Was Also a Victim

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Auckland SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge called the death “a tragic accident” and said he did not believe it was a deliberate attack. SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation) director Hans Kriek had been working with the zoo to find another home for Mila. He hopes she will still be sent to the California sanctuary and said:

The ideal outcome is that Mila live the rest of her life with other elephants, to enable her to fully rehabilitate. Thatís the key thing with elephants, they need to live with other elephants because they are such social animals.

While the investigation is underway, no one can say what Mila’s fate will be, though there is a possibility she will be put down. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald says she often suffered panic attacks at night, and Dr. Schofield would comfort her.

The 39-year-old elephant spent 28 years traveling in cramped trailers, performing for audiences that probably gave little thought to her welfare in or out of the ring. Since 2009, she has lived a solitary life at the sanctuary. Her history may make it impossible for her to find peace. And nothing will bring back the woman who was trying to prepare Mila to finally enjoy life in the company of other elephants.

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Photo of baby circus elephant in training from Wikimedia Commons; photo of African elephant from alex.coles via Flickr Creative Commons

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324 comments

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6:11AM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

very sad,thank you for sharing

1:52PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

sad.

1:35PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

animals need their freedom in their natural habitat!
How would a human feel locked in a cage or restricted alien space as in a zoo?

4:48AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

None of these majestic, sentient wild beings belong in circuses, zoos, water parks, or forced to live their lives entertaining people. Elephants are very social, family oriented emotional beings They do belong in their natural environment their homes with their families and friends where they are happiest. No different than us.

The treatment of elephants and other wild animals in captivity ranges in varying degrees of neglect, mistreatment, poor diet, improper medical treatment, loneliness to egregious cruelty, abuse, suffering, misery and downright torture. The irony that treated this way for our "entertainment" does not go unnoticed. It is grotesque, barbaric and indefensible.

Helping an injured animal or one that cannot survive on its own at a dedicated sanctuary may possibly be a best case scenario in certain circumstances, but circuses using animals, zoos, water parks, etc., are anything but that. Every living being has a breaking point. I am sorry for the loss of veterinarian Dr. Helen Schofield.

6:16AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

http://www.captiveanimals.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Sad-Eyes-Empty-Lives.pdf

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-zoos.html

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/zoos.asp

6:12AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

"instead of funnelling money into zoos, money should be redirected to wild animal conservation. For example the money could be better spent:
-Establishing protected reserves
-Funding anti-poaching patrols
-Educating people about wildlife and the need for conservation
-Lobbying for legislation to protect wildlife (from poachers and habitat destruction)

If you visit zoos you are contributing to this suffering. Today's wildlife programmes can give viewers a much greater understanding and appreciation of these animals than zoos ever could. If you truly care about animals and conservation turn on the T.V and make a donation to one of the many wildlife charities working to save animals in the wild."

http://www.alv.org.au/issues/whatswrongwithzoos.php

12:07AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

Gianna, that's just flat out silly to state. ALL exotics and ALL wild animals in captivity have been abused? I think maybe you've been reading far too many pieces of propaganda from PETA. Why not visit one of the better zoos and check the work they do to make sure endangered species do NOT become extinct? Check out the habitats and conditions before making such a broad and unfactual remark.

2:37PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

It is the circus owner and trainers who should be killed off. They were the ones that took her from her proper environment and forced her to do stupid tricks for uncaring Humans, and imprisoned her in appalling conditions.With any luck they will have short miserable lonely lives. This elephant should be with her own kind NOW. She probably hates humans .I don't blame her.I hate circus people who use animals, and humans who abuse other animals by eating them. The Human species is rotten to the core.The sooner it becomes extinct ,the better.

7:45AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Darn tootin he was a victim and the most important of victims! Reason for that is, is that these are wild animals in that they should NEVER be restrained in any way for ANY reason. Not to mention that Elephants are long distant animals who need plenty of space , space that NO zoo, circus or any other human venue affords them!

7:45AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Darn tootin he was a victim and the most important of victims! Reason for that is, is that these are wild animals in that they should NEVER be restrained in any way for ANY reason. Not to mention that Elephants are long distant animals who need plenty of space , space that NO zoo, circus or any other human venue affords them!

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